Scam calls increasing in Albany area - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Scam calls increasing in Albany area

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DOUGHERTY COUNTY, GA -

Dougherty County law enforcers say scam artists are busier than usual lately in the Albany area.

They want you to safeguard yourself.

We told you last night, Scammers claiming to be from Albany Water Gas and Light contacted many customers in recent days, saying they had to give the caller their credit card number or their power would be shut off.

Investigators actually got in touch with those scammers, but warn they and lots of other crooks are still out there working to rip you off.

Albany Water Gas and Light Senior Investigators, looking into scammers calling Albany businesses, actually got the crooks on the phone.

W.G. & L. Senior Investigator David Atkins said "He didn't really want to talk to me. He didn't want to give me any information. Because I asked him who he worked for and where he might be at. But he was kind of rude. He hung up on me." laughs. But Investigators could not track those phone numbers to where they came from.

In recent days several Albany businesses received calls claiming to be from Water Gas and Light, demanding credit card payments or they would turn off their power. Sheriff's Office Investigators say they are being contacted daily by many victims who fall for this same type of scheme....intimidation to try to get your financial information.

Dougherty County Sheriff's Office Captain Craig Dodd said "In order not to have us repossess something of yours or your car or evict you or whatever, you have to send this much money whatever. Or the other one which is the classic Nigerian scam, which is you've won a lottery."

Law enforcement says these are the same old scams that have been used for years, but they are seeing an increased number of scams this year.  And they expect they will continue to increase during the holidays.

Dodd said "Don't be afraid of them. If they do contact you, contact law enforcement. Let us know what's going on. Give us the information they are trying to get from you."

Fast thinking folks were able to get the return phone numbers for these scammers yesterday, and Investigators actually returned their calls last night. They think that forced the scammers to change tactics, but Investigators say they know the scammers will continue targeting victims.

Atkins said "It's nothing news. In law enforcement we see it all the time. Somebody's trying to get something for nothing."

Law enforcement urges folks to think and safeguard yourself from identity thieves. Never give out personal information to anyone you don't know on the phone or the Internet. 

Sheriff's Investigators warn that scammers are now targeting college students and teenagers, as well as the elderly.

Water Gas and Light Investigators say this is the second time this month that scammers using their name have called trying to rip off victims.

Water Gas and Light will never ask for your personal financial information over the phone.  You can always call them at their main number, 883-8330.

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