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Sheriff’s office warns of new scams in area

Halifax County Sheriff’s Office is warning area residents to beware of several scams circulating in the area that have been reported to the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office in the last week. 

According to Halifax County Sheriff Fred S. Clark, these people behind scams, also known as “scam artists” or “scammers”, can be very convincing, and it can be very easy to become a victim of their scams.  

Several people reported they have received calls from a man who impersonates a police officer. The man identifies himself as a police official and manipulates the caller ID so the number is blocked.  

The offender then tells the potential victim they have an outstanding warrant for an unpaid debt. In order to resolve the warrant, Clark said the victim is asked to wire money through a Western Union or buy a prepaid credit card like Green Dot and register it online. 

Clark explained police do not accept money to clear warrants and generally do not notify individuals by phone of outstanding warrants. 

In another scam, county residents have reported receiving phone calls with a blocked number from an individual who claims to be with the company Microsoft.

According to the sheriff, scammers tell the individual their computer has sent Microsoft an error message, and they are calling to fix the problem. The scammers then ask for their information for the cost of fixing the problem. Victims not only lose their money and personal information, but victims have reported their computers being hijacked, Clark said.

He warns area residents not to comply with unsolicited calls from individuals who ask questions regarding computers.

In addition to those scams, the sheriff said an individual also reported receiving a phone call from the number 876-393-6823, which has a Jamaican area code.  

According to Clark, the victim reporting hearing a man’s voice coming from an automated machine. He claimed to be with Publishers Clearing House and said the individual’s number had been generated to win a million dollars.

He then asked to verify the information before receiving the prize. He repeatedly asked the individual if she would be home for the delivery of the prizes. Clark said the individual had never entered any Publishing Clearing House sweepstakes. 

In another scam, Clark said several citizens had received calls from a man with a foreign accent stating a relative had purchased a home security system for their house, but they needed more personal information before installation of the system could be complete. 

The citizens who received these calls have advised the sheriff’s office that this was not a true statement. 

According to Clark, Halifax County Circuit Court Deputy Clerk Cathy Cosby also showed sheriff’s officials a letter that had been mailed to an individual who lives in Halifax County. The letter was from “Record Transfer Services” with a mailing address of 1000 N. West Street, Suite 1200, Wilmington, Delaware, 19801. 

Clark said the letter informed the person all homeowners should obtain a copy of their current grant deed from their company for a processing fee of $83. 

The letter appears as a bill with a due date, even though it says in small print that this is not a bill, he said. The letter states most certified copies of deeds cost between $2 to $4 per page at the County Clerk’s Office. 

Cosby stated copies of grant deeds for Halifax County residents can be obtained at Halifax County Circuit Court for 50 cents per copy. Most are about 5 to 6 pages in length, she said.  

Clark warns this is an unnecessary and expensive solicitation letter.  

He urges county residents to remember these scams are only a few in a list of scams that have been reported in Halifax County over the past few weeks. Many other scams also are being perpetrated on unsuspecting county residents, according to the sheriff.

If someone calls, emails, faxes or tries to make personal encounter informing county residents they have won something and they need to send money, the sheriff warns it is more than likely a scam. 

He instructs area residents never to send or wire money to someone, somewhere or a business that they are uncertain of and never provide any personal information during these types of calls, emails, faxes, mailings or personal encounters. 

Because most of these calls have numbers generated overseas, the incident is not prosecutable in the United States of America, the sheriff concluded.