MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – Sheriff Ana Franklin has issued a warning to local residents about ongoing phone scams that have been targeting Morgan County residents.
According to Franklin, the first scam involves a caller identifying themselves as a representative of the Social Security Administration, Medicare, or Medicaid. The caller has the name, phone numbers, and addresses of their potential victims.
The caller asks for the victim to to read out the numbers along the bottom of their most recent check or check stub from the agency they claim to represent.
This scam involves collecting the account and routing numbers of the victims checks, enabling them to access the victim’s funds.
No representative from either the Social Security Administration, Medicare, or Medicaid will ever ask for this information over the phone.
The second scam involves calls received from an 875-area-code. The caller informs the victim that they have won a contest or sweepstakes and that they need to call anther 876-area-code number to set up payment of taxes or fees that must be paid to receive the prize.
No actual contest or sweepstakes ever requires the payment of any fees up front. This is a simple attempt to steal money under false pretenses.
Also, 876 is not a U.S. area-code but a country calling code for Jamaica. When the scammer calls, they try to keep the victim on the phone as long as possible, racking up potentially large phone bills.
In one case, the caller kept the victim on the phone while he went to Walmart to get a gift card to pay the “fees” with, according to Franklin.