SHALLOTTE – Shallotte Police Chief Rodney Gause is urging people to be aware of scams that are targeting senior citizens in our community.
There has been a recent increase in the number of citizens falling prey to scammers. Gause said the scams are preveleant in Shallotte and throughout the county.
Law enforcement is working hard to protect citizens but needs the public to be aware and alert. Anytime you are asked to give money in return for getting more money at a later time, be on guard as this is probably a scam.
According to Chief Gause, phone scams that have been targeting senior citizens in our area are coming in the form of sweepstakes, gift cards, money transfers and grandparent scams. The sweepstakes and gift card scams claim that you will receive money or that you have won money and require you to send money to claim your prize. Some of the scams request people to send gift cards in order to receive a prize. The grandparent scam involves a person calling and claiming to be your grandchild who is in jail or has been in a car accident and needs money fast. This scam tugs on the victim’s heartstrings and creates a sense of immediacy to help your loved one.
Gause said that a recent scammer’s phone call was traced to Canada. It is not unusual for these calls to originate overseas or from a phone that is untraceable by law enforcement.
Before you send money to anyone, make phone calls and verify the credibility of the source. If you have a doubt or become suspicious, call the police department.
Do not send money.
Also be alert for lottery, mail and email scams as they are also on the rise in the area.
“If it’s too good to be true, it is probably not true,” Gause said.
There is an urgency is to discuss these scams with area senior citizens and make sure they are aware of the need to verify sources before sending money.
It is unclear how the scammers are obtaining information. Residents are urged not to send money or to give out personal information without verifying the origin of the call.
If you think you have been the victim of a scam, please contact law enforcement as soon as possible. The Shallotte Police Department may be reached at (910) 754-6008.