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HILLSVILLE — Caller ID can come in handy when trying to protect yourself from the latest phone scam.
Carroll Sheriff’s Investigator Kevin Kemp recently used a number collected by a citizen targeted by a scammer to check up on the latest attempt to defraud people of their money.
The investigator received five reports in 24 hours of a man with a Jamaican accent who is calling Carroll County residents and saying they have won $950,000 and a new Mercedes-Benz from the Publisher’s Sweepstakes.
But an Internet search for the number that popped up in caller ID, 876-465-5627, brings up warnings from consumer advocate websites, Kemp found.
Kemp called the number, and the investigator was immediately told that he had won the prize, too.
He told the scammer that he had checked out the phone number and knew it was a fraud, and the man on the line immediately hung up.
As with all other scams, don’t believe the claims and don’t wire money to the con artist through Western Union, Kemp said. If a scammer contacts you, think about whether you entered any legitimate contests.
“If it sounds too good to be true, it is,” Kemp said.
He also recommended using caller ID to check any phone number through an Internet search and verify any claims that someone on the phone makes.
The sheriff’s department wants people to be cautious and careful because many of these scam calls are being reported lately.
Kemp said this area seems to be heavily targeted right now.