| Sheriff Jay Koon |

Every day, people lose their hard-earned money to phone scams. Fraudsters try their best to swindle innocent residents into believing fake stories so they will send them cash and gift cards. They frequently prey on the elderly.

The Lexington County Sheriff’s Department will never call or text you and threaten to arrest you if you don’t pay us. We will never ask you to send us gift cards to your favorite store. We will never ask you for gift cards to send to your third cousin on your mother’s side because she’s an inmate at LCDC. We’re not going to ask you to wire money so we can buy ice cream. We will never ask for money to help with your stolen identity or to unlock your computer. We usually don’t handle official business over the phone.

Scams also come in the form of emails. They may look pretty legitimate and even use a real sender’s email address. It could have the name of your utility company, asking you to verify or update your personal information or pay a bill through a website link. If you weren’t expecting an email from that company, do not click on the link.

Don’t give sensitive information over the phone to someone who calls you. Scammers can be pretty convincing. Keep your guard up. If you are unsure if the caller is legit; hang up. Recently, crooks have been spoofing phone numbers to make it look like a Sheriff’s Department number. If you feel uneasy, hang up and call us back to confirm: 803-785-8230

If you ever feel pressured by someone calling or emailing you, asking you for something—that’s a sure sign of a scam.