Sheriff Ronnie Sprinkle reports his office in recent weeks has received numerous complaints of unwanted telephone solicitations from county citizens. The overwhelming majority have been determined to be fraudulent. The content of the message may vary, from exuberant claims of lottery winnings, or a vast inheritance from a long lost relative, a family member in distress needing money and in some instances actual threats of arrest if the victim does not comply. There are other types of phone fraud but keep in mind the solicitor’s goal is to obtain funds by means of deception.
Common fraud indicators may include a solicitor with a heavy accent, pressure to act immediately, the use of Western Union for wire transfers, and the instruction of “don’t tell others.”
Law enforcement recommends should you receive an unsolicited call for products or services:
1. Hang up.
2. Do not engage in conversation.
3. Do not furnish any information.
4. Do not confirm any information.
Remember-if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is!
Local law enforcement officials find apprehension a challenging task. The clear majority of modern day scam artists are located overseas (majority in Nigeria and Jamaica) and their operations are quite mobile. When they feel they have exhausted their resources or are about to apprehended they simply pick up and move to another location, starting the process all over again.
The Federal Trade Commission is the federal agency responsible for consumer protection and enforcement. For more information visit www.ftc.gov.
Should you have comments, questions or need further information please contact
Lieutenant Jeff Stritesky at the Botetourt County Sheriff’s Office, (540) 473-8351 or email@example.com.
–Jeff Stritesky Botetourt County Sheriff’s Office