Sheriff warns of various phone and online scams

A University of Georgia student told police he was scammed out of more than $30,000 last week.
A University of Georgia student told police he was scammed out of more than $30,000 last week.

Credit: AJC file

Credit: AJC file

Reports of a variety of scams that involve people asking residents to purchase gift cards prompted Montgomery County Sheriff Rob Streck on Friday to issue a warning.

In one scam, residents reported receiving calls, purportedly from a cellphone company, stating that their phone was hacked and to purchase gift cards and send the hacker the information.

There also is a scam on the internet in which online sellers are asking people to purchase gift cards to pay for items.

In many of these phone call or online scams, residents are asked to provide credit card information over the phone, provide a money order or to purchase a gift card to various stores for payment, the sheriff said.

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Fraudulent callers have been known to clone phone numbers to appear legitimate.

“These scammers can be very convincing and while in hindsight it may be easy to blame the victims, please keep in mind that these ruthless scammers are very successful at targeting people from all walks of life and age groups,” Streck said. “Please take extreme caution and only purchase directly from reputable companies. If you are a victim of fraud, contact your local police department to report it.”