MOULTRIE, Ga. – As more citizens receive their stimulus checks in the mail, the more people are calling the sheriff’s office complaining of fraud and scamming.

“We get a lot of calls in general about phone scams and fraud,” said Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Richard Harris, “but it’s definitely gotten more prominent with the stimulus checks being distributed.”

Harris warns that if citizens receive a call from a number that they do not recognize, the best thing to do is not answer at all. On the chance that you do happen to answer the phone, he also warned that should the caller at any point begin asking for your Social Security number, driver’s license number or any sensitive information, it is not a legitimate source. Elderly citizens are especially warned against these scammers as they appear to be the target audience and the ones who call to report the scams most often.

“The caller telling you that they are an employee of the United States’ Marshal’s Service is a popular one,” said Harris. “The caller will tell you that the Marshals have a warrant for your arrest and will ask for the last four digits of your Social Security number. The Marshal’s Service does not ask for the Social Security numbers and they certainly do not call.”

Harris says that there have been scam callers claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House with a cash prize waiting for you, or will call saying that you have won a free vacation; the one thing they have in common is that they will always ask for you to pay a fee or tax, or will ask for credit card or Social Security numbers. 

With the recent arrival of many citizens’ CARES Act stimulus checks, many people have called the sheriff’s office complaining of calls assuring them that “someone” could double their stimulus check money – if they provide a base fee.

“Sometimes it’s ‘can you provide $300’ or ‘can you provide $200.’ Don’t give them anything. They can’t double your money, and most often times we can’t get it back for you. It’s better off if you don’t even talk to these people,” said Harris. “We want you to stay safe out there and we will help you in any way we can, but you can’t give these scam artists the time of day.”

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