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Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Releases April 2024 Scams Update

(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 April 2024 Scams Update.


Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw would like to inform our citizens that the SC Sheriff’s Association recently started their annual spring Honorary Membership mailings, and this is not a scam.


There are four different types of mailings that are sent out by the Sheriff’s Office Association each year, including Membership Renewals, New Member Acquisitions, Special Appeals and Newsletters.  The Honorary Membership Program allows citizens to become Honorary Members of the Sheriff’s Association as an Honorary Individual, Family or Business Member.  The SCSA program is a direct mail campaign that consists of several mailings over the year that is sent to citizens across the entire state of South Carolina. 


The SC Sheriff’s Association does not use telemarketers to solicit for contributions but does solicit donations via direct mail throughout the year.  The letters that are sent out are normally signed by either by the current director of the South Carolina Sheriff’s Association or the Sheriff who is the current President of the Association.


The money raised through the Sheriff’s Association is used for Critical Training and Education Programs, Research and Assistance in regards to researching various issues that the 46 Sheriff’s throughout South Carolina are facing as well as Legislative Advocacy with the South Carolina General Assembly for stronger laws and the rights of victims of crime and witnesses who assist in prosecuting criminals.


The Sheriff’s Office was made aware of a Grandparents Scam.  The complainant was contacted by someone who said that their granddaughter was involved in an accident, that the granddaughter had been arrested and that the granddaughter needed $15,000 for her bond.  The scammers could not provide the granddaughters name. 

The complainant contacted his granddaughter and after speaking with her, realized that it was a scam.  The complainant also received a phone call from someone claiming to be a public defender, who hung up on the complainant during the course of their conversation. 


“It does appear that the complainant provided any personal identifying information to any of the callers.  The complainant did provide his first and last name and the name of his granddaughter,” says Master Deputy Jimmy Watt, Public Information Officer of the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office.  “Scammers like to create a sense of urgency to get a victim to act without clear thought, but scammers will also play upon the emotions of a victim to manipulate them as well.  Scammers will certainly take advantage of the special relationship that exists between a grandparent and a grandchild.”


“The Sheriff’s Office recommends that if you receive a call from a family member, and they are claiming that they are in legal trouble and need money, hang up the phone and contact another family member to check up on their status,” according to Master Deputy Watt.  “In the incident we featured, the complainant called his grandchild and found out she was fine.  Calling a family member, or the actual person who claims to be in legal trouble, is always a good practice to follow.”





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