Be careful of potential scams in the area

Published 8:19 pm Monday, February 20, 2017

It’s not just tax season, it’s scam season, too. And locals need to be cautious anytime someone calls requesting money.

Local law enforcement officials have reported several scams in the area. Brookhaven police have received calls from businesses and individuals complaining about scammers claiming to be with Entergy.

They are telling people that their power will be disconnected if they don’t pay the debt with a prepaid debit card. Entergy will not contact customers by phone about a bill, according to police, so be aware if you receive a similar phone call.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Attorney General Jim Hood is also warning people about tax-related scams.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, scammers are now combining two common scams into one, he said. First, the criminals will send an email to an employee in the human resources department that initially appears to be from a company CEO or another corporate executive, asking for copies of the W-2 forms of all employees. Next, they follow up with an urgent request to transfer a large sum of money to a bank account controlled by these cyber criminals.

Hood urges residents to remember that when they receive sudden or unexpected requests like this from someone in authority at their workplace, they may be spoofed emails. 

Criminals will also file a tax return in your name, and collect any refund that is due. This crime is particularly troublesome because you won’t realize it’s happened until you attempt to file a legitimate tax return.

Hood recommends filing a return as quickly as possible, before criminals have the opportunity to. 

If you read about or hear about a scam affecting people just about anywhere, you can count on it making its way to Lincoln County.

“It’s going to be a continuation. If you see it on the TV or news or somewhere, it’s going to be an ongoing situation here,” Police Chief Bobby Bell said.

Be smart when it comes to potential scams and always seek to verify details with a known contact number for the business before sending any money.  When in doubt, residents can always contact law enforcement and have them check it out.