A set of telephone scams were reported by Barron County residents on at least five occasions between Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, and Tuesday, Sept. 14, according to information from Barron County dispatch logs.
Some of the scams appear to be related based on the kinds of information exchanged. It was unclear whether any of the victims lost money, although most of them were advised to keep an eye on their personal information and bank accounts.
The reports include:
• On Wednesday, Sept. 9, a rural Barron resident reported his wife got a call from a Washington, D.C. phone number. The caller claimed to be with the FBI and asked for the last four digits of the woman’s Social Security number, as well as her home address. The woman hung up on the caller, but not before sharing some personal information.
• Another Barron resident called 911 shortly after 11 a.m. Sept. 9, to report sharing the last four digits of her Social Security number with a caller. However, the victim didn’t give out any bank or credit card numbers. Dispatchers recommended the caller contact Social Security to report the incident and to watch her bank accounts.
• A resident of Turtle Lake called 911 late Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 9, to report getting a call from “someone claiming to be with the Social Security office.” The caller gave the scammer the last four digits of his Social Security number. The caller was advised to call Social Security and his bank.
• A Rice Lake business reported someone was using a Social Security number of an employee to collect unemployment insurance. The caller said her company didn’t lose any money and that she would contact the local bank.
• A Barron man called 911 Friday evening, Sept. 11, to report getting a call from someone who said he represented Apple. The caller “said all their accounts were hacked and (the caller) needed to send them a $500 store gift card. The caller said he got the gift card but didn’t send it. He also said he gave the scammer the last four digits of their bank account cards. Dispatchers advised them to turn off their cards, order new ones, and watch their account balances.
• A Rice Lake resident called 911 Monday night, Sept. 14, to report a scam similar to the “Apple” caller on Sept. 11.
This time, the caller was told her husband’s iPad had been hacked and persuaded her to buy gift cards worth $4,000. The caller reported the incident to her credit card company. She told dispatchers the card company had closed her accounts and would be sending a new card.