Two Barron County residents who live near Ridgeland made 911 calls less than 90 minutes apart on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, to report attempted telephone scams, according to county dispatch records.
Details from both incidents may help area residents who could be the target of future scammers.
The first incident was reported shortly before 10 a.m. Jan. 20 by a rural Ridgeland resident.
According to the report, someone claiming to represent Publisher’s Clearing House called the resident. The caller “wanted to stop at (the caller’s) home and give him $2.5 million and a Mercedes Benz.
The scammer said that all the caller had to do to get the prize was to “go to CVS Pharmacy or the Dollar Store and get a gift card for $200.”
The resident said he didn’t give out personal information to the scammer – and he didn’t get a gift card, either.
The second 911 call was made shortly after 11 a.m. by a Prairie Farm area resident. This caller “got an email that appeared to have come from Amazon,” according to the log report.
The email said that “the television ordered (from Amazon) was going to be delivered,” but if the resident did not order a TV, he should call an 800 number to report it.
The resident told dispatchers that he has an Amazon account, but never ordered a TV.
The resident called the number, but the person on the other end “appeared suspicious.” When the resident told the scammer that this appeared to be a phony call, the scammer “said (the resident) was about to be out $4,000,” and then hung up the phone.
Dispatchers asked the resident to watch his bank accounts and call back if there were any problems. Afterward, dispatchers did an Internet search and discovered “many other (people) receiving similar emails.”