Polk County Sheriff’s Office warns of potential scams

Published 10:51 pm Monday, July 22, 2019

DO NOT become a victim of identity fraud or scams. The most popular phone call scam currently is the one where they are posing as the  Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes to make it appear legal. Some are also posing as law enforcement personnel. But always, they have the same goal in mind. They want your money and a lot of it. So they will call and talk very nice and polite, which is sometimes referred to as setting the hook. Then they will inform you of all the money and or prizes that will be delivered to your door, either by the FedEx driver, UPS driver, or the Federal Postal Service employee. Some of these con artists will use official sounding departments of the federal government to really make this all sounding convincing. They will claim to be from the IRS or Social Security Administration. Neither of these agencies will ever call you on the phone! Never! The professional scammers seek two things from you. Money and information. And you should never give out either over the phone, especially your social security number. The key to beating these horrible people is knowledge and not letting yourself become a victim. No one from a legitimate company will ask you to send any type of payment for taxes, shipping fees, gas money, etc. in the way of a money order, pre-paid credit card, game card, Apple card…etc.  

Since these calls have become such an epidemic and they are using local area code phone numbers to place their calls, it is imperative to never give any information to anyone. If you do receive a call from someone stating that they are a law enforcement officer, ask for their name and their department and then call the main police departments phone number to verify they are who they say they are. Do not try to verify with any number they give you! Instead you can call the following numbers: Polk County Sheriff’s Department is 828-894-3001, Columbus Police Department is 828-894-4910 and Tryon Police Department is 828-859-9195.