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UPDATE: Weber County Sheriff’s Office misidentified calls as scam, still preaches vigilence

By Ryan Aston - | Apr 1, 2024

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Editor’s note: This story has been updated in light of new information that calls previously labeled as suspicious by law enforcement were, in fact, honest solicitations.

OGDEN — The Weber County Sheriff’s Office has issued a correction regarding a fraudulent call alert that was posted to its Facebook page on March 29, having verified that the calls were legitimate.

In the original post, local businesses were admonished to be mindful of callers attempting to solicit donations for a “Shop with a Hero” event. It was further indicated that the sheriff’s office doesn’t place calls to the general public for fundraising purposes.

The post has now been updated with the following text:

“After further investigation, we have determined that a VERIFIED 3rd party has been reaching out for donations. It is still important to remember that you should always verify legitimacy before sending or providing money for donations. If you have any questions or concerns, give us a call!”

Lt. Colby Ryan of the Weber County Sheriff’s Office told the Standard-Examiner that the Weber Fraternal Order of Police confirmed that it uses a company to solicit donations for its events.

In a reply to the post, the Weber FOP noted that it does seek funds for its Cops & Kids programs, which includes “Back to School, Shop with a Hero (Christmas), Trunk or Treat, Special Olympics Torch Run, and other community outreach programs.”

“People should still use caution when receiving calls like this,” Ryan emphasized. “There are ways they can verify that it’s a legitimate business and not a scam artist.”

Scam calls can be increasingly difficult for people to identify. In some cases, those placing the calls are using people’s caller IDs against them to make the solicitation appear legitimate.

“The perpetrators are using spoofing or phone number spoofing programs,” Ryan previously told the Standard-Examiner. “Every couple months, these scam artists come up with a new way or a new program to get those that aren’t aware to send them money.”

He added that people who have concerns about the legitimacy of a call they’re receiving should hang up immediately and call the department’s non-emergency number.


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