ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Law enforcement agencies in Dougherty County are warning residents about several different scams they’ve been seeing and the want to warn everyone to be aware.
Dougherty County deputies said crooks are going house to house, scamming people for work.
Officials with the Dougherty County Sheriff’s Office said said crooks are riding around asking residents if they need pine straw for their yard. Then, they get the money but never do or finish the work.
Deputies said they are targeting older adults.
They identified victims in the Philema, Palmyra and Doublegate areas.
WALB was told the crooks are riding around in pickup trucks and some of them are from the Talbot County area.
Investigators said the suspects tell victims they’ll lay down the pine straw for a certain amount, but only do half the work after getting the money up front.
“If anybody was basically ripped off by these people involved with the pine straw, we would really like to know. They basically drive around with a pickup truck filled with pine straw bales and then they just rip off people all over the place,” said Captain Craig Dodd with the Dougherty County Sheriff’s Office.
Dodd said deputies came in contact with one suspect who said they’ve been doing this all over South Georgia.
Officials believe three people are involved in the scam. They said the crooks even went back to Columbus to cash victims’ checks.
Deputies said that if you are a victim, they need your assistance by coming forward with information.
You can contact the Dougherty County Sheriff’s Office investigators at (229) 431-3222.
Dougherty County Police (DCP) said more criminals are stealing identities, so their urging people to keep an eye on their credit.
This includes your kids’ credit because they’re also being targeted.
Police said criminals are opening up credit cards using random children’s name.
DCP said it’s important to get frequent credit reports and keep all social security numbers in safe places.
Police encourage everyone to stay in constant communication with credit agencies to ensure your identity isn’t stripped away.
“Keeping on top of it and keeping your personal information secure. Keeping it out of the reach of just anybody, is that first line of defense,” said Detective David Flick with the Dougherty County Police Department.
Flick also asks that everyone avoid sharing information over the phone.
And you should always report suspicious acts immediately.
The Dougherty County Sheriff said Social Security scammer are also an issue.
Investigators said Social Security impostors targeting older adults has increased.
Deputies said crooks call to get as much information as possible.
WALB was told the scammers are typically aggressive and will tell you your social security number has been compromised.
Investigators also said they’ll sometimes lead you to websites to collect your information as well.
“We just encourage anyone who is called just to know that Social Security does not call you to tell you your number has been compromised. You would get a letter in the mail from Social Security,” said Dodd.
Investigators said you should not provide any information over the phone.
If something is suspicious, you should call and report it to police immediately.