Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office has recently received reports of a disturbing phone scam targeting local residents.

As part of this scam, the scammer may call or send a text to the victim claiming that they are a member of a cartel. The scammer then threatens to kill the victim’s loved ones if they do not send thousands of dollars to the scammer immediately. The scammer has also reportedly sent graphic and disturbing images to victims attempting to convince the victims to send money.

If you receive these scam calls or texts, do not send money, but notify your local law enforcement.

Remember these tips to help protect yourself from fraud:

1. Spot imposters

Scammers often pretend to be someone you trust, like a government official, a family member, a charity or a company with which you do business. Don’t send money or give out personal information in response to an unexpected request – whether it comes as a text, a phone call or an email.

2. Do online searches

Type a company or product name into your favorite search engine with words like “review,” “complaint” or “scam.” Or search for a phrase that describes your situation, like “IRS call.” You can even search for phone numbers to see if other people have reported them as scams.

3. Don’t believe your caller ID

Technology makes it easy for scammers to fake caller ID information, so the name and number you see aren’t always real. If…

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