A Bamberg County man was the victim of a phone scam, losing $1,000.
On the morning of Aug. 27, a deputy met with the victim at the sheriff’s office in reference to a call he had received from an “888” phone number. The victim stated that the caller had said he was from Microsoft services and that there was an issue with his computer. In short, the caller convinced the victim to make contact with two other customer service representatives and gave him their phone numbers.
Over a four-hour period, the three subjects convinced the victim to allow them remote access of his personal computer. The subjects remotely viewed the victim logging into his bank account. While logged into his bank account, the subjects reportedly manipulated his account information to make it appear to be zeroed out.
Once realizing the entire process had been a scam, the victim went to his bank and reported the incident. Bank personnel pulled up the victim’s account and confirmed that none of his funds had been removed. The bank personnel then closed the account in question and opened a new account containing a different number.
The victim also stated that the subjects had convinced him to go to two different stores, purchase two $500 Google Play cards and then provide them with the numbers on the cards.
The reporting officer wrote a report and explained to the victim that from past experiences, these matters end up overseas with no way to identify the subjects. The officer did inform the victim that he would investigate the phone numbers and Google Play cards to see if there was any information that would help identify the subjects.
Another deputy checked the phone numbers and Google play cards given by the victim. One of the phone numbers was found to be the basis for thousands of complaints. Another number came back as being a Bandwidth.com VOIP number out of Florida, which typically end up with an originating IP address out of the country. The third number came back with no name found and showed to be a “spoofed” number. Green Dot does not keep records of where money goes after it’s loaded to the cards, and it is usually transferred between various types of cards to move funds out of the country and to avoid U.S. prosecution, according to the report.
In other reports:
• On Aug. 26, a local farmer called the sheriff’s office explaining that he had received a call about a vandalized vehicle on Bethel Road near Clear Pond. The reporting officer rode over to the location and located the car parked on the side of the road.
The officer noticed all the windows had been damaged and all the wheels were missing. He then took pictures and documented its condition inside and out. The officer was not able to find any evidence left behind by the vandal or vandals.
The owner of the vehicle showed up on the scene while the officer was awaiting the tow truck to arrive. The owner explained that his wife had driven the car the previous day when it broke down. He said she left the vehicle and caught a ride home with someone. When asked what time the vehicle had broken down, the owner replied that he did not know because he was working on a car with his brother in Augusta.
While talking with the owner, the officer realized the owner’s wife was in the vehicle with him. The officer spoke with her on the side of the road, asked how she got home, and she replied that her husband picked her up. There is nothing further at this time.
• On Aug. 23, a woman reported that a subject came into her residence and took her belongings. She said she wanted a trespass notice issued on the subject. The victim said she verbally warned the subject the previous week but would prefer it to be on paper. The reporting officer issued a trespass notice and will attempt to serve.
• On Aug. 22, a woman reported that some items had been stolen out of her vehicle. She stated that the last time she saw the items was on Aug. 14, and on Aug. 19, she discovered her GPS system and her firearm were not in her vehicle. A report was made, and the firearm entered into National Crime Information Center database.
• On Aug. 22, a woman reported that the catalytic converter had been stolen off her vehicle. She had noticed her vehicle running loudly. She said she knew what it was, checked under the vehicle and saw the catalytic converter was missing. A report of theft of motor vehicle parts or accessories was made.
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