Sheriff Reminds Residents to Stay Alert on Scam Attempts
Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves wants to remind residents to be alert for thieves who are working on a daily basis to try to scam money from residents. Some of the most common scams include:
The Grandparents Scam – This scam involves someone calling an elderly citizen, claiming to be a grandchild who has traveled to another country or another state and gotten themselves arrested. The “grandchild” will ask the grandparent not to say anything to anyone, but send money to get them out of jail.
The Social Security Scam – In this scam, someone claiming to be from the Social Security Administration will call saying your benefits / account has been suspended due to suspicious activity. They will want to confirm personal information, such as the last 4 digits of your social security number, along with bank account information.
Publisher’s Clearing House Scam – Someone calls to congratulate the resident on winning the Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes, but before the Prize Patrol can come deliver the check, the winner needs to pre-pay taxes by getting a pre-paid debit or gift card from a nearby store and give the caller information off the back of the card.
IRS Scam – Someone posing as an IRS Agent will call stating there are issues with your taxes and immediate payment is necessary or law enforcement will come to arrest the resident.
There are several commonalities with all these scams, including:
- The call is unsolicited and out of the blue
- The caller does not want you to tell anyone about the call or what they are requesting
- The caller wants immediate payment, either from money gram or from a pre-paid card
“Many people receive these calls on a regular basis, but fortunately word has gotten out and it’s rare for anyone to actually fall prey to the thief’s tactics,” according to Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves.
“We encourage residents to never hesitate to hang up on someone who calls asking for personal information or money. If there is an issue with your taxes, the IRS will contact you by letter, not by phone or email as will the Social Security Administration should they need to reach you. Finally, should you be fortunate enough to win The Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes, you will not be required to pre-pay taxes before receiving your prize,” concluded Sheriff Groves.