(Walhalla, SC)————————————–In our continuing efforts to educate and inform our citizens and to prevent them from becoming victims of scams, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is releasing today our December 2021 Scams Update.
Deputies were made aware of a scam in which the victim was notified by a caller, out of state, that her grandson was being held in jail in regards to a traffic accident. The caller asked the victim for $8,900.00 to post bail for the grandchild. The victim sent the money via a delivery service.
Later, the victim received another call. This time, the caller stated that they needed an additional $21,000.00. Later, another family member told the victim that it was a scam, so the additional money was not sent. The victim was advised not to have any additional contact with the scammer.
“We have stated previously that scammers like to use a sense of urgency in order to get victims to react in ways that they may not otherwise” says Master Deputy Jimmy Watt, Public Information Officer for the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office. “Scammers also like to play on the emotions of their victims, in this case, a grandchild who is in trouble and needs help.”
“If you receive a call from a family member who tells you they are in jail, or a call from someone claiming to be law enforcement or an attorney representing a family member who claims to have been arrested, and they request money for bail or attorney fees, we recommend that you contact other family members to see if they know if that family member has been arrested,” says Master Deputy Watt. “Do not send money to anyone, even if they claim to be a family member, unless you have verified the information as legitimate and positively identified the family member who is contacting you.”
A victim of a scam spoke with a deputy in regards to receiving information from two males that claimed to be working for Bank of America. The men informed the victim that there was a transaction on her account for $1,000 dollars; however, in order to get the money refunded, she would have to purchase two $500 dollar gift cards.
Afterwards, the victim was to call them and pass along the numbers on the pre-paid cards so the reimbursement could take place. The money was taken out of her Bank of America account in order to purchase the gift cards.
“If there is ever a sure sign of a scam, it is a request for payment using a prepaid card,” says Master Deputy Watt. “If someone requests payment using some type of prepaid card, go ahead and presume it is a scam. Remembering this golden rule of scams will save you a lot of headaches in the long run. Once the numbers on the cards are used, and money is removed from the cards, then recovery of those funds is extremely difficult, if not impossible.”
The Sheriff’s Office would like to remind everyone that if they are victims of scams in which they have suffered loss of assets or have had their personal identifying information or financial account information compromised, they should consider contacting their local law enforcement agency to request a report be filed. In some cases, an institution may require that a police report be filed before they will consider reimbursing a victim.
Also, victim of scams are welcome to contact the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs to report the scam as well. The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs can be reached at 1-800-922-1594 or online at www.consumer.sc.gov.
Also, make sure to download the next of podcast of The Deputy, on Friday, December 24th, for a conversation with Master Deputy Watt and Bailey Parker, Public Information Director for the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs, as they discuss scams and how to protect you from becoming a victim. The Deputy – The Official Podcast of the Oconee County (SC) is available on many podcast directories, including Apple Podcast, Spotify and Google Podcast.