Oconee Co. Sheriff's Office give tips to fight scammers - FOX Carolina 21

Oconee Co. Sheriff's Office give tips to fight scammers

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WALHALLA, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The Oconee County Sheriff's Office is warning the public and offering some tips about scams mainly targeting the elderly.

Public Information Officer Jimmy Watt said although the scams can target anyone, many target seniors, due to their financial resources and a different upbringing.

"Seniors are more of a trusting generation," according to Sgt. Justin Ward of the Criminal Investigations Division. "They are more likely to believe what people are telling them whereas perhaps younger people are more skeptical because of the culture they grew up in."

The scams often use pre-paid debit cards as a way to gain hundreds or even thousands of dollars from unsuspecting victims.

"They will tell you to put $300 on this Green Dot Card to cover this and then once they have those numbers on the Green Dot Card, they take the money out and it is gone. The scammers always come up with some kind of story that gets you hooked, and then the story is going to change," Ward said.

The sheriff's office suggested some steps that individuals can take to protect themselves:

  1. Be wary of the 876 area code.  
  2. Be wary of any business that wants you to e-mail them personal information, such as to obtain loans. Most businesses will have forms that a person can fill out online.  
  3. Be wary of anyone who asks for Green Dot Card or any type of prepaid card to pay for fees. A legitimate business is going to have a way to obtain money without going through a middle man.  
  4. Institutions should not ask for your personal information, such as social security numbers and routing and transit numbers, because your personal bank, for example, should have that information. If an individual calls from a bank, for example, and says they need to verify your social security number, you should ask for their name and operating number and then call the bank yourself to see if it is legitimate. The bigger banks will normally recognize the number that you call from, and they will then ask you to verify who you are by the last four digits of your social security number or your mailing address or zip code.
  5. As always, if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.

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