Scammer pretends to be with census

There is a new scammer targeting the Coastal Empire and Low Country.

A potential victim, Mike Hatfill, of Georgetown, told News 3 that someone called him Wednesday pretending to be with the US Census Bureau.

He said the man on the line told him the government was offering grants of $10,200 that could be used for education and home repairs, but not for political gain or drugs, Hatfill said.

Hatfill hung up after the caller asked for personal information and $80, but he’s worried about those who don’t realize the census bureau would never ask for money.

“(The scammers) are taking advantage of people who don’t have the ability to say no,” said Hatfill. “They think the $10,200 these people are offering would be a windfall and could help them and it ends up hurting them in the end.”

A data specialist at the census bureau regional office in Atlanta told News 3 he had not heard of that scam making the rounds, but it is now something they’ll look out for.

The census bureau has conducted surveys in the Savannah area in recent months and it appears a scammer is trying to take advantage of that fact.

For the Savannah area, a call to the Atlanta Regional Office is a good step towards finding out if you are in survey.

The bureau’s website also has a section on Avoiding Fraudulent Activity and Scams.

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