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NCCo. phone scam targets seniors

Delaware Public Media

The New Castle County Sheriff’s office is warning residents to be on the lookout for a new phone scam targeting seniors.


So far, the scammers have nearly robbed two elderly people of $500 each.


The first was a woman in her late 70’s. A caller claimed to be with the sheriff’s department and told her she had missed a court appointment.

“He said because she had missed that appointment the sheriff had someone ready to be dispatched to her location to arrest her if she didn’t pay $500 in gift cards,” said New Castle County Sheriff Sam D. Pratcher Jr. 


The other victim was an elderly man who arrived at the sheriff’s office with two $250 gift cards.  


Both would-be victims were intercepted by friends or family before they could pay the scammers.


But Pratcher thinks there could be other victims out there.


"They may be too embarrassed to come forward, or they may not even know they’ve been scammed," he said.


He said his office will never call a resident asking them to pay a fine, especially with a gift card.  


An easy way to tell you’re talking with a scammer is that they’ve been identifying themselves as “sergeants” and “lieutenants.”


The sheriff’s office only uses the title “deputy.”


If you think you might be talking with a scammer you should hang up and call the sheriff’s office immediately.


New Castle County Sheriff’s office 302-395-8450

New Castle County Police Department 302-573-2800

City of Wilmington 302-654-5151

Delaware State Police at 302-739-5960


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