ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Dougherty County Sheriff's Investigators say they're seeing a sharp increase in people being ripped off through a variety of new and old scams, and senior citizens are often the targets.
Tuesday a Dougherty County woman in her late 60s reported losing $8,500 to a scammer she thought was her romantic interest on a single's website.
Sheriff's Investigators say they are seeing a sharp increase in these heartless single's chat room scams, and warn it's not just senior citizens being targeted. "What the scammers are looking for is young people and older people who are lonely," Sheriff's Captain Craig Dodd said.
Investigators say victims send money, believing they have a personal, romantic connection. "She was still telling us that she needed to make sure because he still needed $800 for his medications. And we're saying no, you can't send him anymore money," Dodd said.
Sheriff's Investigators say they are also seeing a number of people being ripped of by phony roofing companies, intimidating elderly home owners into letting them inspect their roofs.
"Then they talk you into giving a down payment on whatever they are supposed to do. If you give them a down payment on it you will never see them again."
Investigators say traveling bands of home repair rip off artists have been spotted again in South Georgia, and urge you only to deal with reputable companies you know.
Sheriff's Investigators have also heard from 20 victims of IRS type scams this week. They remind you the IRS never calls or emails taxpayers. And for people who have fallen for lonely hearts scammers, investigators say don't be ashamed, because many other South Georgians have too. Call law enforcement and report them.