(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 June 2021 Scams Update.
The Sheriff’s Office received word of two instances of a particular scam in which the victims stated that they had received a call from a local number. The caller identified himself as Lt. Randall Day. In the first instance, the caller told the victim that there was a problem with some paperwork in regards to the victim’s registration as a sex offender. In the second instance, the victim was told that the Sheriff’s Office has lost his credentials, that he had to re-register for the Sex Offender Registry and that a warrant would be issued for him unless he paid a $1,000 bond over the phone.
In regards to the first instance, the caller told the victim to purchase some gift cards to pay to post bond. The victim followed the instructions in regards to purchasing the gift cards and then placed a phone call to the scammer and provided the security numbers on the back of the cards. At this time, the victim was scammed out of $2,000.
In regards to the second instance, the victim was instructed to go to a local store and purchase some gift cards as well, upon which the security numbers were provided to the caller. The victim, in this case, offered to stop by the Sheriff’s Office and make contact with deputies, however, the caller said that the victim would be placed in handcuffs and not given an opportunity to pay.
The Sheriff’s Office also continues to hear of scams involving citizens being contacted regarding out of state arrest warrants and the citizens being asked to purchase gift cards in order to have the charges dropped after payment. In many cases in these scams, the called has informed the victim that their Social Security Number has been compromised.
In one final law enforcement scam to report, deputies received word from a citizen about a phone call received in which the caller said that a warrant had been issued for a family member due to their not appearing in court. The caller, who appeared to be calling from a local number, provided the correct address for the family member and stated that a letter had been sent in May advising of the court date.
The caller said that the warrant could be stopped if payment of $750 was made on a gift card and for the family member to meet at the Sheriff’s Office to make those arrangements. The family member was advised that it was a scam and the transaction did not take place.
“In regards to the scams involving the Sex Offender Registry, and just for general information purposes as well, the Sheriff’s Office does not have an employee named Randall Day who is a Deputy Sheriff,” says Master Deputy Jimmy Watt, Public Information Officer for the Sheriff’s Office. “When Sheriff Crenshaw was elected in 2013, a Sex Offender Registrar’s position was created. The duties of the Sex Offender Registrar are to ensure that those on the Sex Offender Registry are meeting the mandates of their sentencing guidelines as set forth by the court. If someone on the registry is not meeting their sentencing guidelines in regards to registering with Sergeant Melanie Shovey, who is the Sex Offender Registrar, then Sergeant Shovey will obtain an arrest warrant on a Sex Offender Registry Violation.”
“With that being said, and as we have stated previously, law enforcement will not ask anyone to purchase a gift or pre-paid card to either have an arrest warrant recalled or to have charges dropped in an investigation,” continues Master Deputy Watt. “As we have stated previously, a legitimate business or organization will not request payment using a pre-paid or a gift card.”
Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw says that should any of our citizens who are on the Sex Offender Registry receive a call from someone stating that there is a problem with their status on the registry, and the caller requests payment to clear up those problems, they are welcome to contact Sergeant Shovey through the non-emergency line at the Sheriff’s Office at 864-638-4111 to make her aware of the issue.
Master Deputy Watt recommends that those who receive any type of communication regarding their Social Security number being compromised should reports those issues directly to the Social Security Administration online at oig.ssa.gov. The Sheriff’s Office continues to recommend that citizens avoid answering phone calls from numbers they do not recognize that appear on their caller I.D.