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County Collections Scam

DATE & TIME:  02-01-2019 / 13:31

LOCATION: Beatrice, Nebraska

OFFENSE: County Collections Scam

CASE #: 2019-0507

 A resident of Beatrice called the Gage County Sheriff’s Office and spoke with an investigator about phone calls she had been receiving from a number associated with the Gage County Sheriff’s Office fax machine. She did not answer the calls and no message was left.  The investigator checked with other deputies, corrections officers, and administrative staff, but no one had called or sent a facsimile to the victim’s phone number.  The investigator also checked for any civil court action on the Beatrice resident and informed her there was not any civil action on or for her.

Later that day the victim finally answered one of the calls and a female who said her name was “Jessica” and spoke with a foreign accent told her she was with the Gage County Civil Collections Unit and started asking for personal identifying information, such as address and social security number, from the victim. The victim did not provide any information and asked to speak with Jessica’s supervisor.  A male with a foreign accent identified himself as “Paul Wait” with the Gage County Civil Collections Unit and said a subpoena had been issued for her and she needed to come to the courthouse with her attorney.  She declined and told the suspect she knew the phone calls were a scam.

When the victim called back later that day and spoke with the Gage County Sheriff’s Office investigator he assured her those persons did not work for the Gage County Sheriff’s Office. The investigator confirmed she had not provided any personal, confidential, or financial information to the suspects, but suggested she contact her financial institution and monitor her credit and mail, since the subjects had most likely obtained basic information about her from an online search of land line phone numbers.

The Gage County Sheriff’s Office urges residents to use extreme caution when dealing with persons over the phone, online, via US mail, or in person and to not provide any information which could be part of a “Phishing” scam. The suspects would obtain information from the victim or tell the victim to make some type of non-traditional payment, such as buying gift cards and provide the redemption information for the cards to the suspect.  Never given your financial or banking information to persons you are not familiar with or do not know.

This report to the Gage County Sheriff’s Office was forwarded to investigators with the Beatrice Police Department for their records.

If you receive this type of call, do not provide any information, instead, speak with a family member, friend, or trusted financial adviser or accountant. These type of incidents can be reported to your local police department or call the Gage County Sheriffs’ Office and ask to speak with an investigator.

Sheriff Millard “Gus” Gustafson #903

Investigator T. Hanson #90310

Deputy A.Schaefer #9037