August 15, 2014
NEWBERRY COUNTY —The Newberry County Sheriff’s Office has issued a warning to residents for them to be aware of continuing scams that are happening in this county as well as the surrounding area.
Sheriff Lee Foster said the types of scams currently being used include:
Credit card stolen: A caller advises you that your credit card has been stolen and locked down. The caller will then go through ways of trying to get you to verify your credit card information and PIN. They also will ask for wired money and/or the sending of pre-paid debit cards to have the account unlocked.
Person in jail: A caller, often late at night, states he or she is an official in a jail and that a grandchild is in custody. The caller then puts a person on the phone who states they are the grandchild but the call is muffled. They then ask for money to release the loved one.
Computer virus: A person claiming to be with Microsoft calls and says your computer has been infected with a severe virus that is sending out personal information. The caller then asks to take over the computer remotely to release the virus. Once this is done, the caller is able to download private information off the computer.
Court official: Someone identified as “an official from the courts” advises that the person receiving the call did not show up for jury duty and has been committed to jail time. They can avoid jail by sending in a pre-paid debit card or a money order. If the caller protests, they tell them a deputy will be there to arrest them.
Foster advised residents not to trust Caller ID even if it appears the calls are coming from official numbers or from known numbers. The people making the calls are often doing so from off shore and are faking the numbers by using a “spoofing” applications that allows them to place fake information into the phone system to fool the Caller ID.
He added that residents should call their financial institution, credit card provider or internet service provider and ask if someone from there has called. If you still feel uncomfortable, call the authorities.
Foster said the best method to combat these scammers is to simply hang up on them and to verify the nature of the call.