Crime & Courts

Richmond Co. | Columbia Co. | Aiken Co. |

North Augusta woman reports scam artists

  • Follow Crime & courts

It started with a letter from a psychic promising to lift a spell in exchange for money.



She shredded that letter and the few that followed last summer.

Then a call came in May from an "Omar Brown" congratulating the 75-year-old North Augusta woman on her recent winning of $1 million.

Brown's request for a $675 handling fee immediately tipped off the woman to the scam and she hung up. That was just the beginning.

When the woman turned down Brown 14 times, she got a call from a "Mr. Anderson" with the "International Business Bureau" who claimed Brown was a legitimate caller.

She reported them to North Augusta Public Safety.

When a North Augusta Public Safety officer talked with "Brown," the caller reportedly threatened to come to the officer's home and the police station with "army guns," a report shows. The calls continued from Jamaica, then Fort Lauderdale, Fla., then from phone numbers with 706 and 803 area codes.

On June 5, she got a $3,679 check in the mail from Readers Consultants Inc., which required a call to "activate" the check. She brought a copy of the check to the police department.

Another 27 calls followed after that, including a woman from "RC Trucking" who said she needed an $80 fee for a delivery.

By the time the victim called North Augusta Public Safety again last week, she had received more than 40 calls from the scammers using a variety of ruses.

"It was absolutely overwhelming," said the woman, who asked not to be named for fear of more phone calls.

She had no clue why she was targeted specifically.

North Augusta Public Safety's Lt. Clay Swann couldn't speak to the specifics of this case, but said it's easy to get someone's address and telephone number.

"This isn't unusual," he said.

This particular victim was smart enough not to cave in to the caller's demands. She said the caller pleaded and even pretended to cry about losing his job when she wouldn't send money.

In one instance the caller apparently tried scare tactics, threatening to call the attorney general and Internal Revenue Service. The woman's response: "Good."

When a Chronicle reporter tried calling the local numbers, one was a recorded message in Spanish asking for an authorization number and the other was alternately busy or no one answered.

Swann said people should be leery of anyone who asks for money in exchange for money. Neither should anyone pressure you to make an immediate answer over the phone, he said.

He stressed that it's important not to give out a date of birth, Social Security number or bank account number over the phone.

Comments (10) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
3g
0
Points
3g 07/10/10 - 07:17 am
0
0
Smart lady , these " phishers

Smart lady , these " phishers " are persistent because their scam has worked on others , and they work hard on our older citizens because they know that they have disposable income , the last sentence in this story is CRITICAL .

RushLimbuttbubba
0
Points
RushLimbuttbubba 07/10/10 - 07:47 am
0
0
Way to go lady!! That is how

Way to go lady!! That is how to make fools out of those scammers. You have to outsmart them!

dani
12
Points
dani 07/10/10 - 09:14 am
0
0
Years ago I was getting a lot

Years ago I was getting a lot of these. I posted my number to the 'do not call' list and I never get them anymore.
Some might enjoy the give and take of these calls but I refuse to give the scammers that satisfaction.

1SCDawgfan
0
Points
1SCDawgfan 07/10/10 - 10:19 am
0
0
Maam- you get the award today

Maam- you get the award today for being the smartest person in North Augusta!
I hope my parents who are your age, are listening to me when I tell them REPEATEDLY not to cave in to phone spammers, answer the door for sales or religion and for goodness sakes, dont give ANY personal information.

lady_alessandra
0
Points
lady_alessandra 07/10/10 - 10:27 am
0
0
caller ID and answering

caller ID and answering machines - or simply hang up when these idiots call. I screen my calls to avoid this kind of garbage. If they really want to talk to me or a member of my family, they will leave a message. Sometimes I still wonder why I even have a land line

chascush
0
Points
chascush 07/10/10 - 11:03 am
0
0
I receive calls all the time

I receive calls all the time wanting donations for anything from cancer to law enforcement officers. They are WASTING their time I will not donate to anything over the phone. It is sad but you can’t anybody unless you check them out.

the_source
0
Points
the_source 07/10/10 - 11:35 am
0
0
Heh, heh. Timely story. Just

Heh, heh. Timely story. Just got an email with a Texas phone number to call for a "consignment delivery" to me. I am about to call and record the call for laughs. Email excerpt:

"I am very busy now at the Custom Authority Office here at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, as soon as am through speaking with the head of the Authorities I will give you a call, so I advised that you keep your mobile phone open for easy communications, or better still give me a call at 832-352-5151.

Finally. I will be oblige to ensure that your package is delivered to you as soon as I settle this issue with the Customs, and also do not contact any other person apart from me the Diplomat of your Consignment."

Heh, heh. Yes, I admit I'm bored today and need a life.

airbud7
1
Points
airbud7 07/10/10 - 12:06 pm
0
0
I had a guy call me telling

I had a guy call me telling me he had a check for $200,000 dollars for me but that he needed $67.00 for processing I told him if he would cover the $67.00 for me I would split the $200.000 with him I never heard back?

corgimom
34071
Points
corgimom 07/10/10 - 04:11 pm
0
0
I must lead a boring life, I

I must lead a boring life, I never get letters like that or phone calls like that, either.

Although if some crook kept calling me, it wouldn't take 14 calls for me to get rid of them. One call, that's all.

emergencyfan
0
Points
emergencyfan 07/14/10 - 10:32 am
0
0
Back to Top

Top headlines

Democrats target turnout for Sunday voting

Registered voters in Augusta-Richmond County can cast ballots in the Nov. 4 election from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday in the Advance Voting Center at Augusta Municipal Building, 530 Greene St.
Search Augusta jobs