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Home  |  News  |  RCSD warns of scammers‏

RCSD warns of scammers‏
Monday, January 28, 2013

 
RICHLAND COUNTY, SC - Sheriff Leon Lott stated that unknown individuals are targeting the Hispanic Community to dupe them out of their hard earned money. January 7, 2013 was the first of many calls received by potential victims of this scam; criminals, stating they were representatives of Fairfield Electric told unsuspecting customers they were behind on their power bill. The Sheriff added that the unknown suspect told the victim that they owed money ranging from $254.00 and up; the suspect tries to get the victim to send the money through credit card or MoneyPak and provide the criminal with the serial number.

Sheriff Leon Lott stated that several of the calls show up on the caller ID as coming from 559-800-8960, if you see such a number please report it to proper law enforcement.

Sheriff Leon Lott stated that a number of customers of Fairfield Electric in Richland, Beaufort, Newberry, and Horry counties have reported receiving suspicious calls of this nature. Sheriff Lott added that you should never give out personal information to suspicious callers; if you get a call from someone claiming to work on behalf of Fairfield Electric, hang up and call law enforcement. Sheriff Leon Lott stated that anyone who asks you to buy a MoneyPak or Green Dot card and asks you for the serial number is probably a scammer.

Sheriff Leon Lott urges that if you receive emails, calls, or letters that you do not recognize or fully understand what they are asking for- do not reply, not even to say no. Once scammers get a reply, they will send more unwanted messages. Here are some tips:

  • If you get a call from a scammer, hang up.
     
  • Do not give out any personal information like your address or ‘confirm’ details like your bank account number.
     
  • If you answer your door to a salesperson, ask to see their ID.
     
  • Check the company name online, and call the company to check that the person works there.
     
  • If you have lost money to a scam, report it to law enforcement immediately.

Be weary of uninvited letters, emails, phone calls and texts that trick you out of your money. Fake lotteries, get-rich-quick investments and miracle ‘health cures. Always remember that if it sounds too good to be true-- then it usually is.

Career scam artists are also offering to perform work on your home, yard or business for an upfront fee. These criminals exist in many forms and will take advantage of any opportunity they can. They will manipulate people into thinking they will be given a service or goods when in actuality they become the victim of a horrible crime.

Here are some tips on how to avoid being scammed when seeking assistance on home repairs:

  • Meet with the person who will be completing the work
  • Ask for a free estimate
  • Make sure the roofer actually gets up on your roof and inspects the damage themselves to give you a proper estimate
  • Ask for referrals and contact them
  • Check their credentials as well as checking with The Better Business Bureau, Labor Licensing and Regulation, and the South Carolina Secretary of State’s office
  • Make sure they are licensed.

Always check with the Department of Consumer Affairs if you have any doubt of offers or solicitation of your money at 1-800-922-1594.

Sheriff Leon Lott is asking for assistance in identifying the suspect(s) or anyone else that may be connected to this case; to receive up to $1000 for information leading to the arrest of the person(s) responsible, please call, email or text your anonymous tip to: Midlands Crimestoppers.

If you, or someone you know, have any information regarding any crime, you are encouraged to contact Crimestoppers. You could earn a reward up to $1,000.

Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC. Texters can send anonymous tips to CRIMES (274637), and mark the beginning of the message with "TIPSC". Text STOP to 274637 to cancel. Text HELP to 274637 for help. Msg&Data Rates May Apply.


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