(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 November 2022 Scams Update.
Financial Crimes Investigators at the Sheriff’s Office are seeing some increases in Identity Fraud Cases, especially as it relates to a scam involving individuals receiving an e-mail from Bank of America regarding accounts being opened, or attempting to be opened in their name, using the victim’s social security numbers.
Financial Crimes Investigators are reporting that, in some cases, banking account information has been stolen and used to make counterfeit checks.
In one investigation, the victim did not open the bank account or authorize anyone else to do so. The victim notified Bank of America and also filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
“Financial Crimes Investigators are recommending that individuals monitor their credit card and banking account information on a regular basis,” says Master Deputy Jimmy Watt, Public Information Officer for the Sheriff’s Office. “Investigators also advise that you may want to consider freezing your credit with the three main credit bureaus, for a time, unless they have some large purchases coming up. Also, never give out any personal identifying information over the phone or through a text, e-mail or instant message. Businesses and agencies that you do business with will already have that information on file.”
The Sheriff’s Office would like to remind our citizens that a recent mailing from the South Carolina Sheriff’s Office Association is not a scam. The SCSA Honorary Membership Program has recently mailed out prospect membership mailings.
The Membership Program allows citizens to become either Honorary Individual, Family or Business Members of the South Carolina Sheriffs’ Association Honorary Membership Program. Memberships are $25 dollars for individuals, $35 dollars for family memberships and $50 for a business membership.
The SCSA program is a direct mail campaign that consists of several mailings over the year that are sent to citizens across the entire state of South Carolina. In Oconee County, the mailing should have the signature of Sheriff Mike Crenshaw, who is also a past President of the Sheriff’s Association.
“The South Carolina Sheriff’s Association does not use telemarketing as part of its fund raising activities,” says Sheriff Crenshaw. “Donations are solicited via direct mail and citizens can decide if they would like to make a donation or not. The contributions that are raised benefit the Sheriff’s Offices in all 46 counties in South Carolina and enable the Sheriff’s Association to conduct critical training and education programs, research and assistance on various issues affecting all South Carolina citizens and legislative advocacy as the Sheriff’s Association meets with lawmakers in Columbia in order to fight for strong laws to help keep all South Carolinians safe.”
“A citizen reported to our office today that someone called their phone number in regards to supporting the local Sheriff’s Office in regards to the purchase of some essential materials,” according to Sheriff Crenshaw. “This is a scam. The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office will not solicit donations over the phone. The best way for someone to support the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office locally is by making a donation to the Oconee Sheriff’s Foundation. You can contact the Sheriff’s Office directly at 864-638-4117 for further information if you would to make a tax exempt donation to the Sheriff’s Foundation.”