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Upstate Sheriff’s office warns of scams seen this month

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Published: May. 17, 2022 at 1:31 PM EDT
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Oconee County, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents about a series of scams that deputies investigated this month.

Deputies said they’ve investigated three reported scams over the past month.

The first incident was reported by a victim who said they received a text from someone claiming to be their boss. The text message stated that he needed money from Apple gift cards but was in a conference and unable to talk on the phone. The victim sent $600 in Apple credit to the scammer, but they continued to ask for more money. Eventually, the victim’s co-workers told them that the texts were not from their boss. Another employee also received the same message but did not send any money.

“We have reported on this type of scam before,” said Master Deputy Jimmy Watt, Public Information Officer for the Sheriff’s Office. “When a situation like this arises, it is best to contact your boss or someone at your place of employment to verify that the request is legitimate. As we have stated previously in the past, if someone is asking for some type of payment, or requesting money via a gift card, automatically presume it is a scam.”

The second scam reportedly involved someone claiming to be a law enforcement officer. The victim said they received a call from another law enforcement agency about a woman he met on a dating app. The scammer claimed that the woman was an underaged girl and that they would need to pay to avoid prosecution. The victim then sent the cammer $1,000 using his bank card.

“Law enforcement will never request money in order to have a warrant recalled, charges dropped or to stop an investigation into an alleged crime,” said Master Deputy Watt. “If you receive a call from someone claiming to be an officer or who represents a law enforcement agency, and a request is made as previously discussed, please hang up the phone, contact your local law enforcement agency to make them aware of this scam and provide as much information as you can.”

The third scam involved a grandmother who recieved a call from someone claiming to be her grandson. The scammer was emotional and told the victim that he got arrested in Columbia and needed $9,000 for bail money. The victim took the money out of her account but then contacted her children about the situation. Her children told her that her grandson was not in jail and that she should not call that number back. Depuites tried to contact the scammer, but the call went to voicemail.

“As stated previously in our recommendations regarding grandparent scams, if someone calls you and claims to be a family member who is in legal trouble and needs money, please contact other family members to verify that information before you send any money,” says Master Deputy Watt. “Even though deputies are not sure how the scammer obtained the information he did, it may be a good idea to keep certain information private about other family members, especially on social media. Also, we continue to recommend that if you have caller i.d. and do

not recognize the number someone is calling from, do not answer the phone as doing so will demonstrate to scammers that your number is a working number.”

The Sheriff’s Office also wanted to inform peole that the SC Sheriff’s Association has been sending their annual spring Honorary Membership mailings, and that it is not a scam. The SC Sheriff’s Association only asks for donations through the mail. The letters sent out are normally signed by either Jarrod Bruder, Executive Director of the Sheriff’s Office or by York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson, the President of the South Carolina Sheriff’s Association.