Police Warn to Beware of Phone Scams
In a rash of recent phone scams burning the telephone lines, the Henry County Police Department urges citizens to exercise caution when giving out personal information, particularly over the phone. The police department is reporting several phone scams where individuals pose as legitimate agents or officials and target residents in order to obtain personal information.
One of the phone scams involves a caller claiming to be a local law enforcement official advising there is a warrant for your arrest. They say it can be remedied by providing credit or debit card information over the phone. Be advised that the Henry County Police Department never accepts credit or debit cards for citizen-requested services, such as background checks. Furthermore, any fines or fees related to offenses are handled by the courts, not by the police.
Other reported scams include one where the caller claims to be from a federal agency, seeking to verify personal information and may even cite some of your information. Or the caller may say he or she is with Windows in an attempt to access your computer’s information. Police warn not to verify anything or allow anyone remote access to your computer, and not to visit any website they ask you to visit.
There is also a scam offering a free medical alert system where the caller asks for personal information and credit/debit card numbers in order to steal money from unsuspecting citizens. The most recent phone scam encountered by police is a caller posing as a delivery person with UPS or FedEx and telling the homeowner they have a package for them. They then ask for the homeowner to state their address and ask if anyone is currently home. Potential victims are even provided a package tracking number to sound more legitimate. Police believe this latest scam is an attempt to burglarize or commit a criminal act and the criminal is trying to find out if the residence is occupied.
Police want citizens to know that there are applications that allow people to call using fake phone numbers, and criminals often obtain personal information from public records, so just because the caller seems to know certain information does not make him or her legitimate. Take note of the number from which they are calling and the company or organization they are representing. If you feel the caller may be legitimate, ask for their information and tell them that you will not provide any answers until you verify them. Then, look up the phone number for the organization and call for verification.
Police urge anyone who has been a victim of any of these scams to contact the Watch Office at the following locations: Headquarters at 770-288-8210/8328; North Precinct at 770-288-7573; Fairview Precinct at 770-389-6272.