Sheriff warns residents about airline ticket scam

COUNTY — The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office is warning local residents about a scam involving free airline tickets.
According to a release from Sheriff C. David Stone, the sheriff’s office has received multiple complaints from county residents who have received a letter in the mail telling them they have qualified for an award of two round-trip airline tickets from U.S. Airlines.
The letter continues with a sense of urgency, telling recipients “We have attempted contacting you several times without success. This is our last attempt.”
It then suggests that if contact is not made soon the tickets will be awarded to an alternate. The letter provides a toll free number to call. The purpose of the scam is to capture the credit card number when the victim pays a “small” handling fee during the phone call.
“Scams and flim-flam operations come in many forms, especially with the advancements in technology which have occurred in the past 15 years,” Stone said. “Whether it’s a letter announcing you have won a contest you did not enter, or a call from an unfamiliar person or area code, or an unsolicited attempt by an individual to sell you something or perform a service for a nominal fee, always be alert to the possibility that you may be dealing with a scam and if you aren’t careful, you might be the next victim.
“There are as many ways for scammers to get your money as there are people. Please remind your loved ones and neighbors, especially those who are seniors, to always be wary of this possibility. Encourage them to contact law enforcement about any potential scam before letting go of their hard-earned money.”