Beware: phone scams on the rise here

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Switzerland County Sheriff Roy Leap would like to warn the community about a rise in phone scams being perpetrated here.

According to the sheriff, several members of the Switzerland County community have contact his office about phone calls that they have received. Although the exact nature of the calls have varied, in each instance people are being told that a family member is in financial trouble in another country and needs help.

“People are being told that their loved one are in jail, or they’ve had an accident and can’t leave the country until the damages to the vehicle are paid,” Sheriff Leap said. “There are many different stories, but all of them end up with the person being asked to send money to another country.”

The sheriff said that on many occasions the victim will be given a phone number to return the call, which makes it seem even more legitimate, but all of them are scams.

Sheriff Leap says that anyone who receives one of these phone calls should tell the person calling that all matters like this are handled through our local sheriff’s department, and you will give the number to the sheriff’s department and a deputy will be calling them back.

Do not, under any circumstances, send money without first contacting the sheriff’s office.

It was noted that many times the caller puts pressure on the victim, stating that the money needs to come as soon as possible; but don’t be bullied into making the wrong decision.

If anyone has questions about these types of scams, or if you have been the victim of one, call the Switzerland County Sheriff’s Department at 427-3636.

“It’s important that people call,” the sheriff said. “People shouldn’t feel embarrassed if something like this has happened. We need to know so others don’t become victims.”