New Phone Scam

scam featurePress release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office has received a report of a new phone scam targeting Humboldt County residents.

In this phone scam, the caller claimed to be “Paul Wilson” from DIRECTV. The scammer told the victim that DIRECTV needed to upgrade the victim’s equipment. To complete the upgrade, the victim was told to turn off their television and pay $229 via credit card. The scammer told the victim that they would get their money back through a discount on their monthly bill. The scammer knew the victim’s DIRECTV account number and their total paid each month.

When the victim called the company directly, DIRECTV confirmed that there is no upgrade happening as described and no one by the name of “Paul Wilson” working there.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind the public to never give out personal information, bank information or credit/debit card information over the phone to a caller that you didn’t contact first. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be with a legitimate company and asking you to pay for an upgrade via credit card or a pre-paid card, hang up and call the company back at their publicly listed line.

To protect yourself from fraud and identity theft, be sure to properly dispose of all mail with personal information. Shred bills and other mail that may have account numbers, bill totals and other information that a scammer could use to trick you. Consider switching to paperless statements with your service provider and regularly change your email password to protect your inbox.

Report phone scams to your local law enforcement and to the Federal Trade Commission at



  • Anyone else getting spoof calls pretending to be from Apple stores around the country? I get six a day. When I call the # the Apple store recording says “it’s not us!”

    • I got a Costco scam call today trying to pitch $500 vacation package for a few cheap travel fees. He wouldn’t verify his last name, manager name, or store location. Then he called me a jerk and I hung up. I get lots from “Marriott Hotels” too.

  • Someone has been sending me Suddrnlink bills but asking more money. That is a scam.

  • I got a scam call today from somebody claiming to be Peter from COSTCO. He was offering a vacation package worth $500 after a few small travel fees. I said, “We’ve been having alot of phone scams in our area lately. Before you continue, could you verify yourself by providing your last name and the store location you’re calling from?”
    He said,”What if I don’t?”
    “Then I’ll probably hang up, and definitely won’t purchase your vacation package.” I told him.
    He called me a jerk, then I hung up.

  • I’ve been getting obviously bogus recorded calls from “Lisa” at Apple telling me my i Phone has been corrupted. I got at least half a dozen yesterday, and they even left messages. I’ve gotten more today. And I don’t even have an i Phone!

  • Alt Right For Life

    Calls saying that we know you’ve been trolling on RHBB and if you don’t get 5 Krugerands left on the Starbucks table by the door at 1:30, we’ll post your picture on Craigslist.

    This is the only phone scam I’ve heard of lately, but thanks for the tip.

  • Eldon G. Whitehead

    There are numerous phone scams going on within Humboldt County at the present time. I get a dozen or more almost every day ranging from I have a warrant out for my arrest for something to I’m eligible for medical equipment for a problem that I didn’t even know that I had. They are even tying into our own local phone numbers and you know what the voice and accents, that they are from out of the Country. Anymore, I look at our caller ID number and if it’s a number that I do not recognize as someone that I know, I just let it go to voice mail and they usually just hang up. Sometimes, I hit the answer button, than right away, I hit the off button. Then starts their end of the spill and than they get shut off quickly. Only answer the phone if you actually know the number that is calling you. They are just dying for you to answer and than they start talking (robo style) real fast so that you can’t really get a word in edgewise. Watch yourselves carefully, especially you older folks, you are the ones that is really being targeted. Be aware.

  • They do often use local numbers. I’ve gotten many a call from a family member and it isn’t them calling, but some scammer. Usually they’re claiming that something is wrong with my computer they will fix it or check it.

  • I recently called Amazon fire stick to ask for tech support. Immediately a woman with an accent tried to tell me I was randomly selected for a free 100. Dollar gift card that I could use to purchase gas, clothing and other purchases because I was such a good customer and because I never received a gift card from them before. Then the woman told me before transferring me to tech support I would need to confirm my address, phone number and to give them a credit card number because to get the 100.00 Wal-Mart gift card it would cost me 4.95. I told her no but she insisted I made a commitment and continually called me thereafter. I BLOCKED HER NUMBER after her three attempts to call me back. I called Amazon again and they said they only email promotion and that they were going to investigate because they said it was a scam.

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