Lexington, SC (Angelica Iglesias) - Both the Lexington County Sheriff's Department and SCE&G are warning the community of different phone scams.
According the LCSD, Lexington County residents have been receiving phone calls from people claiming to be IRS agents or law enforcement officers. The Sheriff's Department warned that in some cases, a scammer claimed to be holding family members for ransom. However, no one has actually been kidnapped or threatened.
According to SCE&G, residents and local business owners have been receiving phone calls from scammers claiming their utility service will be shut off immediately if payments are not made. The company also warned that small businesses, like restaurants and convenience store, are often targeted because they cannot afford for their food to go bad and feel a sense of urgency.
In both phone schemes, scammers often faked their caller ID and told residents to pay by prepaid cards. In some cases, the caller ID was changed to SCE&G's customer service line. The scammers like to use the prepaid cards because no name is attached to them and all that is needed is the card number.
"We will never call and ask you to purchase a prepaid card from a convenience store to pay your bill. Payments are accepted online at www.sceg.com, in person at authorized payment agencies, by phone through our phone payment provider by calling 800-450-9160, by mail or at SCE&G’s business offices," said SCE&G Vice President of Customer Service Sam Dozier.
As a notice to the public, remember that if something can be paid over the phone, it can almost always be paid for online in a much more secure way.