This time of year, many families are purchasing gifts and feeling extra generous.
Unfortunately, this is also the time of year when thieves start working overtime to take advantage of that generosity. With that in mind, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office wants to provide some reminders:
* Consider having packages delivered to your workplace, if possible. Packages sitting on a porch can be inviting to thieves
* Don’t display large amounts of cash at stores.
* Monitor your credit card activity, watching for unauthorized purchases.
* Don’t leave valuables in your vehicle. When shopping, secure packages in the trunk of your car.
“One of the best deterrents to property crime is keeping an eye on your neighborhood and reporting suspicious activity,” said Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves. “Many times residents are hesitant to call in something that doesn’t look right, because they don’t want to seem nosey, but we would much rather check out something and find it to be legitimate than to later be called because a neighbor has had their home burglarized.”
“In addition to the tips listed above, we want to remind residents to be cautious of telephone scams, as well.
“This time of year, thieves prey on the generosity of citizens, and have developed scams to capitalize on the good will of others. As always, we encourage residents to never give out their critical information, such as bank accounts, birthdates and addresses.”
A very popular scam this time of year includes a scam artist calling an elderly resident claiming to be the residents’ grandchild. The “grandchild” will tell the victim he has been arrested (maybe in a foreign country) and needs money sent to them immediately.
“You should never give money or information to anyone who has called you unsolicited, and red flags should certainly be raised if the caller is insisting on money being sent quickly,” said Sheriff Groves.
Other popular scams that may re-circulate this time of year include the Publisher’s Clearing House Scam, where the thief instructs the “winner” to go get a gift card, usually a Wal-Mart card, and send money to cover the taxes, so the Publisher’s Clearing House representative can come to your house to deliver your prize check.
Yet another scam includes the victim getting a call from either the IRS saying taxes are owed and if payment isn’t made immediately an arrest warrant will be issued for the victim or a thief will call saying they are from the local police or sheriff’s offices and a warrant will be issued if immediate payment isn’t made on fines owed.
“All of these are scams and it’s important to remember that scam artists are good at what they do. If you receive any of these types of calls, or any call that makes you suspicious, don’t hesitate to hang up the phone and contact our office,” concluded Sheriff Groves.