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Recently, there have been an array of phone scams to hit Arizona, including the Sedona area. They have included an APS scam in which business owners are told their power will be turned off unless they remit payment immediately via pre-paid debit cards. There have also been a rash of calls in Yavapai and Coconino counties from scammers saying that those being called missed jury duty and that a summons for their arrest will be issued unless they pay a fine — once again by pre-paid debit calls.

The latest, as reported before Christmas by the Sedona Police Department, came from a Sedona man named Paul who was contacted at his home by several subjects, one identified as Sandra and the other as James Williams. According to Lt. Jim Pott, the scammers stated that they were from Tech Life Connect. They informed Paul that they deposited $5,500 into his account and that it was supposed to be only $500. They asked that Paul remit the $5,000 difference to them via a Moneygram.

Pott said Paul and his daughter caught on that it was a scam and did not send any money and just hung up. No personal information was compromised.

“We didn’t get much information as he didn’t want to make a report — he just wanted to give us a heads up,” he said.

Because of that, Pott said he wasn’t sure what the man was told in terms of what type of business Tech Life Connect is or why it would be depositing money in the man’s account. Pott also said he’s not sure what the man told the scammer before hanging up.

“I think a small number of people are catching on, but not enough,“ he said. “Way too many people fall for these things, which is why it’s so common. It’s easy to make money this way and very difficult to follow-up and make an arrest.”

As for advice for those who receive phone calls that don’t sound legitimate, he added, “I suggest that when in doubt, they should ask for a name and call back number, and then contact the police. We can do some simple checks to see if the call is legit.”


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