Letter: Sheriff warns about telephone, in-person scams

As the holidays approach, the Whitfield County Sheriff's Office wants to remind citizens of the presence of scams that are ongoing against individuals over the phone and in person. Scammers are professionals in their line of work and are very convincing when talking. A few common sense tips are listed below.

• Do not answer the phone if it is a number that you do not recognize. If it is important, they will leave a message.

• Do not pay with cash cards. No public utility or federal agency accepts payment with cash cards.

• Do not pay money to get money.

• Do not let strangers into your home.

• Law enforcement/courts do not call on the phone to arrest you.

• You cannot be the winner of a sweepstakes if you did not enter one.

• Do not give out bank, financial or personal information over the phone.

• Do not click on attachments on the computer.

• Do not send money to a person you have not met.

• Do not give into pressure of a time frame: "You must act with 30 minutes of your power will be cut off."

In years past, the driveway paving, tree surgeons and roof repairs were common scams face to face, but now scammers are more sophisticated and more often work off the telephone. When calling, scammers can make it appear the call is a local call and/or make it appear that it is from a legitimate company.

At any time you are uncomfortable with a line of questioning, simply hang up and call law enforcement for assistance.

Scott Chitwood

Whitfield County sheriff

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