Southwest Georgia hit hard by scam artists

Scams on the rise in Dougherty County. / Jessica Fairley

Dougherty County Sheriff's officials say over the past few weeks they've been hit heavy with calls about scams. In particular there are two going around southwest Georgia.

One comes through the mail. A check arrives with a letter asking the recipient to deposit the money and pay a fee of $300 for the winnings. But by the time the check is found to be a fraud, the $300 deposit is gone.

"If they send out about 50,000 of these and get about 10 percent return, that's a lot of money at $300 a pop," said Dougherty County Sheriff's Captain Craig Dodd.

The scammers have gotten crafty by using official UPS mailings to woo their targets. Many times a victim is likely to open the package if it's sent through a legit postage service.

But mail scams aren't the only ones on the radar; thieves are also reeling in victims by phone.

"They'll call you up and tell you things like they're from your bank and there's a problem with your account and they need your account number or they'll ask for your social security number," said Captain Craig Dodd.

Bank officials say they'ill never call clients and ask for information and when clients call, they follow strict protocol.

"We have a series of verifications that we set up i.e. pin numbers or personal identification numbers that clients may have," said Bank of Lee County Loan Specialist Brandon Hosley.

He says if someone calls requesting personal information, hang up the phone and contact your bank.