November 5, 2013

Phone scams on the rise

Caller asks for cash or money order

By Nita Johnson
Staff Writer


Laurel County Sheriff’s officials are warning citizens of the latest phone scam involving payment to receive a prize.

Deputy Larry Parrott is currently investigating a case in which a caller informed a local resident of a $950,000 prize. The man gave his name as Sean Johnson with a phone number of 1-315-307-2427. The caller instructed the person to send in $750 by money order to claim the prize money, or to write a check for $300 and he would come by and pick it up from the resident’s home.

Parrott’s investigation has revealed the caller used a throw-away phone that is not traceable.

Sheriff’s officials are now warning citizens to be alert to various phone scams and to cautious on relaying any personal information to unknown callers, even if their name appears on Caller ID systems.

“Prize winners are not notified like this and fees are not attached to winnings,” said Sheriff John Root. “Please do not fall prey to this attempt to steal money from unsuspecting people.”

Root recommends if citizens see a number on their Caller ID service but do not recognize the number, not to answer the phone and then screen any messages and phone calls of this nature.