Sandy police forums educate public on telephone scams
Sandy Police officer Jason Coates takes seriously and personally the increasing number of technology-based phone scams targeting the public — particularly seniors — and working to better inform the community about the threats.
"Our aging community means a lot to me," he explained. "I grew up with my grandparents. I have a lot of respect for them."
Coates is offering presentations at local retirement communities. His next will be at a time yet to be determined on Wednesday, March 21, at the Sandy Senior Center, 38348 Pioneer Blvd.
"There's so many scams out there," he said. "They always have something to convince you they're real."
Coates has worked with the Sandy Police Department for 14 years, four of which he served as a detective.
"When I was a detective I saw a lot of elderly abuse," Coates noted. "I saw the need to come up with a way to help our community on a personal level."
Many of the calls originate from automated services from anonymous voices informing the caller their IRS/insurance provider/grandchild needs money from you, with terrible consequences if you don't comply.
He said "if it sounds like a scam, it is a scam" — if you suspect a caller is a scam artist, "take a step back, take a deep breath ... I recommend you hang up."
"People fall for it because they have a sense of responsibility," Coates added. "They're preying on people's sense of being a good person."
The Post will provide the time of the March 21 presentation it is set.
"I feel like it's kind of our responsibility to take care of our aging," he said. "I have a special place in my heart for elderly people."