|Sheriff Hagaman Warns Residents About Scams|
|Written by Adam Hicks|
|Thursday, 23 April 2009 06:27|
Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman said his office has learned of several scams in the area.
Hagaman said the first scam involves someone who says they are the claims officer from the National Gaming Commission. The caller has been telling residents that they have won a large amount of money, but in order to claim their “prize packet,” they must send a $700 money gram to an offshore address. Hagaman said the phone number (866) 364-1341, extension 2112, has been associated with the calls. The Sheriff said anyone who receives a suspicious call from this number should simply hang up.
Hagaman also warns residents of home improvement scams, especially relating to paving and driveway sealing scams. The Sheriff said residents should be wary of contractors who show up at their homes unannounced. Legitimate contractors are known through the local building association, chambers of commerce, and local government departments.
The Watauga County Sheriff’s Office has also received several reports that some area business’ employees have been using their cell phones to take pictures of the front and back of customers’ credit cards. Hagaman said the employees are then either e-mailing or texting the pictures to a third party, who is purchasing items online using the card numbers and security codes. While the name of the business involved hasn’t been released, the Sheriff said a good way to protect yourself is to write “Check Photo ID” on the back of credit cards instead of signing your name.
Finally, Hagaman said his office has learned of several mortgage scams. The Sheriff said these scams seem to be related to the recent economic stimulus package. Hagaman explained it is best to ask the lender plenty of questions because legitimate lenders are happy to address questions.
Hagaman also urged residents not to give out any personal identifying information. The Sheriff asked residents who think they have been a victim of a scam to call the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office at (828) 264-3761.
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