FOCUS: Scams

Nothing is FREE!

If it seems too good to be true... it probably is.

There are many scams going around, and we want you to be on the alert so you don’t become a victim. The best defense is awareness.

Some of the current scams involve:

Grandson Scam

Someone calls in the middle of the night claiming to be your child or grandchild and asks you to wire money because they are ill, have been arrested, or have car trouble. Hang up and call the phone number you know for them or another relative to confirm they are okay. DO NOT send money. This is a SCAM!

Alarm Systems

Do not let anyone into your home to ‘check’ your system unless you called them. Check with your local Better Business Bureau to assure you have chosen a reputable company. Do not tell someone who comes to your door if you do or do not have an alarm. Don’t let someone put a sign in your yard unless you have purchased an alarm from the company that gives you the sign.

Lottery or Contest Winner

You do not have to “pay” to receive winnings from a legitimate contest if you entered one. Never accept a check that you are asked to deposit and then return part of the money to the sender. Usually you did not even enter this contest or lottery. These are a SCAM!

Pest Control

The Town of Marana does not offer this service!

Water System Check-Up

The Town of Marana will not ask to come into your home to ‘check’ your water or it’s quality.

Bank Account Text Messages

Do not call the number back if they text you that they have a problem with your account. Instead, call your bank using the number on the back of your debit or credit card or at the bottom of one of your personal checks or statement and tell them that you have received a text message like this.

Distraction Tactics

  1.  A woman with a child knocks on your door and asks to use the bathroom. The woman then steals medication out of your medicine cabinet or other valuables that are out in the open. Instead of letting them in, offer to call the police for them if they truly need assistance or services.
  2. Someone knocks on your door and asks you to come outside so they can ‘check your water’ or other issues. Once you go out and follow them to the back, their partner, who you have not yet seen, runs in the front door and burglarizes your home. Instead of going out, tell them that you will need to call & verify first. Close and lock your door, then call (520) 382-2570 to verify. If they quickly leave, call Marana Police at 911 to report this and give a good description of the person and their vehicle.

Rules of Thumb for Your Safety:

Do not give anyone personal information unless you made the initial contact.

Do not let anyone you don’t know into your home for any reason. If you called them, ask for picture ID. Do not answer questions about your home or schedule from someone at your door.

If a stranger knocks on your door, simply yell out, “We are busy, please go away!”

Do not let anyone pressure you into making a decision “today, because the offer is ending”.

Do not give solicitors any money, checks, etc. to “hold” or to “order materials”.

Keep a cordless phone or cell phone with you when you are in your yard.

Look for the vehicle they are driving, license plate, and any identifying marks or signage for description. Be Alert and Aware when out shopping - be sure no one follows you home.

Keep your doors locked, especially if you are on the other side of the house or in the yard or garage.

Additional current scams involve:

Medicare Card Update

Someone calls stating they are from Social Security and tells you that due to the new Obamacare Medical program, they need to send you a new Medicaid/Medicare Card. They ask you to verify your name, address, and telephone number. Do Not give out this personal information over the phone to anyone who calls you. The next question they ask you is, “Which bank do you have your Social Security check deposited to?” Never give anyone this type of information! This is a SCAM!

Utility Fee Rebate

Someone calls and tells you they have rebates available to give money back to the residents of Marana due to an overcharge on their utility (water) bills. There is NO available rebate for charges on utility (water) bills. Do not give them any information regarding your name or address. This is a SCAM!

Door-to-Door Salespeople

In Marana, it is required that all Door-to-Door Salespeople and Solicitors have a current Solicitors License with them when knocking on doors. They cannot say, “It’s in my car” or “It’s back at my office”, they must have it in their possession at all times. It is best not to engage in any type of conversation with them and NEVER let them into your home. These are often SCAM’s and it is difficult to know if they have a legitimate business or not. Therefore, it’s best to say you are not interested and close the door. Remember, never give out personal information either.


Panhandlers will often approach people when they are walking through parking lots of businesses and ask for money. Panhandling is illegal in Marana. Occasionally, a person looking to do a robbery will pretend to be a panhandler and when the person opens their purse or wallet, they will grab ALL of the money and run away. If someone approaches you and asks for money, just tell them you do not have anything, but will be happy to call the Police to get them some assistance! Mesa Police have many resources to assist the needy.

Medical Lab Home Visits

If someone comes to your door unexpectedly and states that your doctor, or their lab, has ordered an emergency test for you and they are there to collect blood or urine samples, Do Not let them in your home. Do Not give them any personal information including your name or doctor’s name. Close and lock the door and call your doctor’s office to verify and notify them that this has occurred. If the doctor’s office confirms that they did not send anyone, call the Marana Police at (520)-682-4032 and report this suspicious activity. This is a SCAM that is used to get into your home so they can burglarize it (medicine, jewelry, cash) while you are in the bathroom.

Rules of Thumb for Your Safety:

The Social Security Administration does not call you to verify information: They will communicate with you by mail only, unless you contact them by telephone.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not call you to verify information: They will communicate with you by mail only, unless you contact them by telephone.

Banks do not call you to verify information—They will communicate with you by mail only, unless you contact them by telephone or sign up at your bank to receive text messages or e-mail alerts about your account. When in doubt, call your bank using the phone number listed on the back of your ATM or credit card, personal check, or bank statement, never use an unknown number given to you by an unverified person who has called you.

Doctor offices will always notify you directly if they need you to get any lab work done. They will not randomly send someone to your home unannounced. If you need to have the lab come to your home, you will schedule that yourself or through your Dr.’s office. Be sure to mark the date and time on your calendar. Always request a Photo I.D. from the person when they arrive at your home to confirm they are the one you scheduled.