Scammers asking for cash to fund 911 service, says Cowlitz Sheriff

911 is funded through phone bills, no need to pay callers

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Cowlitz County Sheriff Mark Nelson said in a bulletin Monday that folks there have received phone calls from scammers, claiming falsely that they must pay for 911 services.

Nelson said 911 services are paid in monthly phone bills.

"Requests for 911 funds are definitely a fraud," he added.

He said anyone who receives such calls should hang up and report them to their police department or sheriff's office.

Here is the full bulletin:

News Release from: Cowlitz Co. Sheriff's Office

9-1-1 PHONE SCAM WARNING

Posted: March 26th, 2012 11:35 AM

9-1-1 Scam Alert

The Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office is sending out the following notice regarding a phone scam.

Residents in Washington and other states have reported receiving calls requesting money for 9-1-1 services. The caller claims that homeowners must pay a fee to register their residence in a 9-1-1 database so first responders can locate their home in an emergency. The caller also requests names and medical information from the residents. This is a scam.

Cowlitz County Sheriff Mark Nelson said, "Nine-one-one services are funded directly through dedicated 9-1-1 taxes. These taxes come on your regular monthly phone bill." Sheriff Nelson also added, "Requests for money over the phone could be fraud. Requests for 9-1-1 funds are definitely a fraud. Residents who receive suspicious calls should hang up and report the call to their local police or sheriff's non-emergency phone number."

The only additional emergency phone service that residents must register for is the Emergency Call Notification System. (ECNS) Registering for this system allow group calling from the Sheriff's Office Department of Emergency Management in order to advise residents of an emergency situation, or other urgent information. THERE IS NO COST TO THE RESIDENT FOR THIS SERVICE.

For Cowlitz County residents a list of non-emergency phone numbers and websites can be found at www.co.cowlitz.wa.us/dem/Links.