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Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Releases May 2023 Scams Update

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–In our continuing efforts to educate and inform our citizens, and to prevent them from becoming victims of a scam, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is releasing today our May 2023 Scams Update.

Master Deputy Jimmy Watt, Public Information Officer from the Sheriff’s Office, spoke with two citizens recently regarding Grandparent Scams. In one scam, the grandparent was asked to send $8,600.00 in cash.

“The way that Grandparent Scams normally work is that a grandparent will receive a call from someone claiming to be their grandchild. The imposter will say that they have committed a crime, or been in a motor vehicle accident, and then claim that they have been arrested,” according to Master Deputy Watt. “They will request money for bond and for attorney fees. The grandparent also may speak with someone claiming to be their attorney as well who may ask for additional money.”

“Scammers want to create a sense of urgency and they want to take advantage of the special bond that grandparents have with their grandchildren,” according to Master Deputy Watt. “If you receive any phone calls from someone claiming to be your grandchild, who claims that they have been arrested, call another family member, such as a parent of that grandchild, to see if everything is okay.”

A deputy spoke with a compliant who stated that they listed a purse for sale on a website, which someone agreed to purchase. The agreement between both parties stated that a check would be mailed to pay for the item. Once the check was received and cashed, then the purse would be shipped to the buyer.

The complainant told the deputy that they received a check in the mail for $1,700.00 dollars, which instructions to cash the check, take out the agreed upon price of $145.00 for the purchase of the purse, and then to send the remainder of the money back to the buyer.

The complainant found this suspicious and contacted the Sheriff’s Office. After reviewing the check, a deputy advised the citizen not to cash the check. No money or merchandise was lost.

“This particular type of scam we have reported on before. The seller of the purse did the right thing by not cashing the check and making law enforcement aware of it, which confirmed her suspicions,” according to Master Deputy Watt. “If the seller had sent the merchandise ahead, and cashed the check, then they would have been scammed out of the purse and $145.00. Also, they would have been responsible for restitution, and any fees, to the business who cashed the check had the transaction proceeded to that point.”

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