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Sheriff’s Department warns of two phone scams

Published 2:27pm Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Morgan County Sheriff’s Department has issued a statement to warn local residents of two on-going phone scams that have been reported in the area recently.

The first one involves a caller identifying themselves as representatives of the Social Security Administration, Medicaid or Medicare. They have the names, phone numbers and addresses of their potential victims.

During the conversation, they ask for the potential victims to read out the numbers along the bottom of their most recent check or check stub from the agency they claim to represent.

This is a scam to collect the routing and account numbers of the checks in question. No representative from SSA, Medicaid or Medicare will ask for this information over the phone.

The public is asked to simply hang up and refuse to answer any further calls from that number.

The second scam involves calls received from an 876 area code. The caller says that you have won a contest, or sweepstakes and need you to call another 876 area code number to set up payment of taxes or fees that must be paid to receive the prize.

“No actual contest or sweepstakes will require the payment of any fees up front,” Sheriff Ana Franklin said in a statement. “They are trying to steal your money. Not only that, but the 876 area code is not a U.S. area code. It is a country calling code for Jamaica.

“When you call back, they try to keep you on the phone for as long as possible, in one case asking the potential victim to stay on the line while he went to Wal-Mart to get a Wal-Mart gift card to pay the fees.

“You end up with a large phone bill for the out of country calls.”

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