The Laurel County Sheriff’s Office says they are investigating several different phone scams that have recently circulated around the Laurel County area.
The tactics the scammers employ include requesting a sum of money to be sent either as cash or on a gift card and even asking for the victim’s social security number.
Authorities say the scammer could pose as a family member needing money sent out-of-state for emergency purposes, or as an IRS official attempting to collect money they say is owed by the victim. In the latter example, police say the scammer will sometimes threaten the victim with supposed legal action if they do not send money.
According to police, the recent scams also include the “awarding” of a large money prize in exchange for a processing fee sent in by the victim.
One of the most concerning scams involves the scammer pretending to be an employee of the Social Security Administration and requesting the victim’s social security number or other valuable personal information to ensure that their social security benefits won’t be affected.
The Laurel County Sheriff’s Office says that law enforcement agencies are often used as a threat to obtain personal information or money from victims, and should not provide callers with requested details if they receive such a threat.
The Sheriff’s Office recommends always screening incoming calls to see if the phone number is familiar, and to not answer if it is isn’t.