There are two phone scams that are reoccurring in the Savannah area that has Financial Crimes detectives alerting locals to be aware of the warning signs and not fall victim to them. One scam involves the scammer claiming to have the person’s sibling, holding them hostage and demanding a ransom if they want their sibling back. The second scam also involves the potential victim’s sibling- this time, the caller saying the sibling was at fault in a fatal car accident and in exchange for a fee, police action can be avoided. According to the release sent by Eunicia Baker, Metro police had been notified of seven variations of this scam since February 28, with some originating from an Atlanta area code.
According to the release sent by Eunicia Baker, Metro police had been notified of seven variations of this scam since February 28, with some originating from an Atlanta area code. Some scammers were “extremely aggressive in pressuring victims to pay” and threatened arrest or other forms of legal action if the victims refused and the scams often originated in other countries and make them hard to trace.
“The important thing is for victims to trust their instincts,” said Sgt. Jeramy Henry of SCMPD’s Financial Crimes Unit. “If unsolicited callers are demanding payment, making questionable demands that make you uncomfortable or seem outlandish, disconnect and call police. Don’t provide payment or any of your personal information when you have doubts.”
SCMPD recommends the following practices to avoid falling victim to such crimes:
- Before sending any form of payment, contact the family member using familiar methods to verify such claims. Do not contact family members by phone numbers provided by callers.
- Avoid providing funds through wire transfers or money cards.
- Never verify your family member’s personal information or your own.
- Listen closely for discrepancies in personal information the caller may have obtained about you. Always ask for more details. Allow inaccuracies in this information to serve as red flags.
- When possible, get the caller’s name and contact information before disconnecting.
- Notify law enforcement immediately. Document the encounter with a police report.
- React thoughtfully, never in haste.
For more information contact the SCMPD Financial Crimes Unit at (912) 651-6735.