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Prince Edward sheriff warns of reported scams

There were reports last month of several financial scams targeting adults that could be ongoing according to Prince Edward County Sheriff Wesley Reed.

In a press release, Reed outlined some of the different scams and asked that the community be more aware of giving out personal information such as their name, social security number and date of birth.

“If you have elderly parents, please talk to them about this problem and keep a check on their finances,” Reed said in the release. “By doing so, we may be able to stop some of these scammers.”

Wesley W. Reed

Wesley W. Reed

The release noted that one scam involves a person being mailed a check of a certain dollar amount. There is a phone number on a letter accompanying the check that the recipient is asked to call, according to the release. Someone from the company may call the recipient once it is believed the letter has been received. The caller will tell the recipient of the letter that in order to receive money from the deposited check, he or she must first send a certain amount of money by way of charge card, MoneyGram, etc. to the company that issued the check, authorities said. After doing this, the check, in most cases, will be sent through the bank only to find that insufficient funds are there. Then, the person who was mailed the check is responsible to the bank for the total of the bad check.

Another scam exists through email, texts and phone messages, according to the release. In these instances, the scammer tells the person that he or she has won a sweepstakes with a large amount of money or a new car. In order to receive the prize, the person must first go to Wal-Mart and get a loadable credit card or a MoneyGram. The scammer will tell the person how much money he or she should send in order to receive the prize.
The release stated another scam involves the scammer calling a person, asking them to change their beneficiary on their life insurance policy or on their retirement plan. The scammer will ask for the person’s social security number and their date of birth. This will give the scammer valuable information, allowing him or her to put their own name on the life insurance or retirement policy. By the time the policyholder looks into the matter, all of the funds have been drained.

The sheriff’s office detailed one other scam in the release involving the purchase of vehicles online. The scammer will usually list an expensive vehicle at a very low price, citing a reason for why he or she has listed it so low. By the time the person sends the money, there is no way to get in touch with the scammer. The scammer has collected the money, and the person can no longer get in touch.

Anyone who feels they’ve fallen victim to a scam or suspected illegal activity should call the sheriff’s office at (434) 392-8101.