May 26, 2022

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News First at Four

HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) – Whether it is IRS scams, Publishers Clearing House scams or banking scams, scams are all around us, and they are growing more popular as technology advances.

Executive Director for the Office of Senior Protection LaDonna Koebel said she has seen 1,500 imposter scams over the past year, with people losing more than $9 million on these scams.

“Scams come in all different forms, so you really have to be cautious,” said Koebel.

Koebel said trending scams really depend on what is going on in the world around us.

“So, right now, when you’re seeing utility costs or gas prices are on the increase, scammers are pretending to be the utility companies, ‘so we’re gonna shut off your utilities unless you pay us right now,’” she said. “There’s always an emergency and the emergency helps them perpetrate the scam because they want people to panic and try to take care of this issue.”

Scammers are becoming more creative with caller IDs, so if you receive a call from your utility company, your bank, or the IRS and the person on the line is asking for money, you should always assume its a scam.

“Never give out your social security number, birthday, any kind of personal information with you or any of your family members,” said Knott County Sheriff Dale Richardson.

If you have fallen victim to a scam, you can report it here.

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