Investigators warn South Georgians to protect social media info

Investigators warn South Georgians to protect social media info

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Dougherty County Sheriff's Office investigators warn South Georgians to protect their information on social media.

Investigators say the number of scam victims is skyrocketing. They took reports from 20 scam victims just last week. And they say many of the scam artists may be closer than people think.

Dougherty County Sheriff's Investigators say too many victims are senior citizens, receiving calls such as claiming to be from their grandchildren at college, needing money for car repairs.  It's information that's all learned on social media.

"A big part of this is do not give out too much information over social media. Like Twitter, Facebook, etc., said Dougherty County Sheriff's Office Captain Craig Dodd. "Limit who can go on your Facebook account.  Don't leave it wide open where anyone can go on it."

Investigators say cons aren't just coming from professional scammers in other parts of the country or world. They could be people in your community looking for an easy target.

"Amateur scam artists are doing it now," said Dodd. "Because people are just leaving themselves so wide open. And with all the crime being committed against people financially, it's amazing that people are not trying to protect themselves more."

Identity theft and scams like this continue to skyrocket, the fastest growing crimes in the world now. Investigators say the best way to protect yourself is to limit the personal information you put out, and use a shredder to dispose of all your financial papers and mail.

And it's not just individuals being targeted. Another scam Captain Dodd said is being seen more is where businesses and organizations are being promised grant writing service, but once they advance a couple of hundred dollars, the grant writer is never found again.

Copyright 2015 WALB. All rights reserved.