2017-12-29 / Business

Sheriff warns citizens of phone scams involving government agencies

Contributed by RCSD

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott continues to warn citizens of not falling prey to criminals who call and demand money; the attempts are increasing and the sheriff urges you to remain vigilant. These criminals continue to call unsuspecting victims and say they are with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department.

Lott states no government agency will call you and threaten jail time if you do not pay them; furthermore, the big red flag should be the fact these scam artists are asking you to go and purchase Green Dot cards. No one is immune from receiving telephone calls from these scammers. The sheriff said the suspects behind these scams are ramping up their efforts during the holiday season to steal your hard earned money.

Please be reminded to not give out your personal information over the phone if you are unsure of who you are actually speaking to; some of these criminals are pretty good at convincing you into believing in what they say, DON”T BE FOOLED! Always verify, hang up and call the official number for any state agency these scammers may be calling from and you’re not familiar with.

Lott also warns of scams specifically targeting our precious elderly; family members should always check to make sure our seniors are not getting caught up in such scams. The sheriff adds that senior citizens can fall prey and become too embarrassed to tell anyone about how much money they’ve lost to these criminals. Stay alert, protect yourself and your family members.

The sheriff reminds citizens to be aware of these scams and the techniques used to steal your money:

• beware of phone calls or letters claiming you have won the lottery or sweepstakes.

• beware of phone calls claiming they are the IRS, INS, RCSD, or any law enforcement agency collecting money.

• be suspicious of any call asking for money.

Lott says Richland County Sheriff’s Department investigators will continue the efforts to arrest those responsible for fraud. If you have any information to assist with solving these types of crimes, please call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CrimeSC.

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