Alert senior detects scam in ‘Fruit Packer’ call

Sheriff: Never give personal information on the phone.

Wilma Packer said, “I’m glad I stopped to think,” after an apparent scam phone call on Tuesday morning.

Packer, of Odell, got a call from a man saying he is with “The Fruit Packers,” asking her for her Social Security number. She declined, saying she would never give that information out.

“You should never do that, and some people might give into this, without thinking,” Packer said.

Packer believes the “Fruit Packers” cover and her name is a coincidence, and wants others to be alert to the scam.

Pete Hughes of the County Sheriff’s Department said his office learns of various scam calls such as this nearly every week, and he said Packer did the right thing.

“You never give out personal information of any kind over the phone,” he said.

Hughes also pointed to a scam that routinely happens: the “help me, Grandma (or Grandpa)” in which a young person pretending to be a relative has gotten into a financial bind while traveling overseas, and needs money to be wired immediately.

The caller always tells the senior citizen not to tell any other relatives, because they “don’t want them to be worried.”

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