Sheriff issues warning after scam reports

COUNTY — Local authorities have received recent reports involving telephone scams on merchants in the Upstate, including some in Pickens County, and Sheriff C. David Stone is urging residents to be aware.

In the scams, which utilize the AT&T call relay system for the deaf and speech-impaired, the ccammers place a large order for food to be picked up at a future date, purchase with a stolen credit card and add a thousand or so dollars for a “pickup agent” who will pickup and deliver the food on the predetermined date.

The merchant is asked to wire the extra money by Western Union to the agent as soon as possible. The entire transaction is bogus, and the merchant would certainly lose if they forwarded the money.

“The upcoming holidays unfortunately bring out the worst in some people,” Stone said. “It’s not uncommon for law enforcement to see an increase in scams, shoplifting, robberies and break-ins during this time of year. We encourage everyone to be alert and aware of their surroundings while out and about shopping and enjoying all of the holiday events.

“The old sayings that nothing in life is free and if it’s too good to be true then its probably not true, are good advice for all of us,” he said. “There are as many ways for scammers to try to get your money as there are people. Always be aware and contact a family member or law enforcement if uncertain before letting go of your hard-earned money.”