Caller tells Chief Deputy of Franklin County he’s won thousands. He thinks it was a scheme to get information or money from him.
Chief Deputy Rick Minerd doesn’t often answer calls when a number doesn’t pop up, but this time he did.
He tells NBC4 the man on the other end said he was with the “U.S. Grant Department”.
The caller/suspect, reportedly spoke with a heavy foreign accent and indicated that federal grants, in an amount up to $9,000, are being awarded annually to persons who are in good standing with the Internal Revenue Service in properly filing their income taxes. The caller/suspect provided a confirmation code (GG5503) and directions to immediately call the U.S. Treasury Department at (315) 636-0795 to receive payment.
Investigators say these stories are not legit! It is believed that these types of calls or scam are originating from a location outside the State of Ohio. Sheriff Scott says that anyone who receives a suspicious phone call or email from someone purporting to be affiliated with a governmental agency regarding awarded funds should take precautions.
The Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating the scam listed above, and residents should be reminded:
• Take necessary precautions to phone calls, emails, faxes or text messages about prizes or awards that you aren’t familiar with.
• Don’t respond to any phone calls, emails, faxes or text messages about any warning of dire consequences if you don’t provide sensitive information immediately.
• Don’t provide personal information in response to an unsolicited phone call, email, fax or text message, no matter how legitimate it seems.
• Review your account transactions regularly and contact your bank if you find any unauthorized transactions.
• Always ask for and wait until you receive written material about any demand for payment.
• If you think you have received such a call or scam, obtain the person’s name, business identity, telephone number, street address, and mailing address. Remember, these con artists may give out false names, telephone numbers, or addresses, so you must verify the accuracy of these items.
• Never send money or give out personal information such as credit card numbers and expiration dates, bank account numbers, dates of birth, or social security numbers to unfamiliar companies or unknown persons.
• Contact the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office immediately at 614-525-3333 if you’re unsure of the legitimacy of any phone calls, or if you’ve responded to what you believe may have been a scam.
NBC4 called the same number and talked at length with a man named Kevin who says this is no scam, and that nothing was asked for when it comes to personal information or money.