Vail dispatchers warn of 9-1-1 phone scam

By Real Vail
October 5, 2012
It has recently come to the attention of the Vail Public Safety Communications Center that a new telephone scam is circulating across the country. Crooks will target homes for possible burglary by posing as 9-1-1 dispatchers responding to emergency calls.

According to the way the scam works, residents receive calls in the middle of the night from a supposed 9-1-1 center asking about the numerous calls placed from the home. Once everything is reported to be okay, the scammer moves on to a list of questions, such as: How many people live in your home? Are you home alone now? Is there a security system? If so, what company services it? Apparently, the scammer hopes that people awakened this way will be too groggy to realize that they haven’t called 9-1-1.

The Vail Public Safety Communications Center, which dispatches police, fire, and EMS services for all of Eagle County, with the exception of State Patrol, will never ask these types of questions. If a 9-1-1 is received and no one stays on the line, a dispatcher will call the number back, explain that a 9-1-1 call has been received, and ask if everything is okay.

The dispatcher may ask one or two follow up questions to determine that there is, in fact, no emergency. Dispatchers will not ask specific questions, such as those being asked by scammers, unless an emergency is confirmed by the caller and further information is needed to send help.

If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from a 9-1-1 center, and you believe it is suspicious, immediately hang up and dial 9-1-1. This will put you in touch with the Communications Center, which will be able to validate whether authorities initiated a call.

If you have questions or concerns regarding this scam, please call the Communications Center at 970-479-2201 and ask to speak to the on-duty supervisor.

comments: 1 Comment on "Vail dispatchers warn of 9-1-1 phone scam"

cornelia – Oct. 06, 2012, at 12:51 a.m.

Could this be related to the scam call I got? It was still supposedly 911. They offered to sign me in to their program which would make me a top priority customer, whatever that means. And they said that if there is an emergency in my house, I can just press a button directly linked to their system and they'd be on their way in seconds. But for me to take advantage of that privilege, I would need to pay a one-time fee of $90. Wow! As much as it would be nice to have that kind of security, I was suspicious of the caller so I hung up.

When I told my husband that night, he confirmed it was a scam. He read about it already at and apparently, this scam's been happening around all over US.

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