Thousands of dollars lost to scammers in Putnam County

Published: Oct. 10, 2022 at 11:10 PM EDT
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PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Putnam County Sheriff Bobby Eggleton said he has had an uptick in unsettling calls to his office this month.

“I got three phone calls in about two days about people who had received either emails or phone calls or something and all three of these people lost a substantial amount of money,” he said.

“One lost nine thousand, another lost 10 thousand, the other about 7,500.”

He said the victims lost the money through calls, texts and emails. One victim lost their money through someone posing as Publishers Clearing House.

“We question all the time why someone would think to do that but that’s why they target the elderly,” he explained.

“The scams are like if you send me money, I’ll send you more money and they promise them cars, and next thing you know these people are out thousands of dollars.”

Eggleton said if an older relative is likely to fall victim to a scam, it may be a good idea to become an authorized user of their bank account. This way, if large purchases or charges are made, they can easily be questioned so their hard-earned money is lost to those with ulterior motives.

“If it’s too good to be true, it probably is, the people who do this are heartless and they don’t care if it’s your elderly mother, they don’t care these people have no money,” he explained.

“They’re looking for a dream, these older people are looking for a dream that’s never come true and they’re thinking, maybe now’s the time to have a million dollars in the bank, it just doesn’t happen.”

Eggleton said to report a scam or fraudulent activity to contact local law enforcement and with your bank.