Baldwin County sounding the alarm for a bold internet scammer
MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Chief Assistant District Attorney Teresa Heinz is warning people to be aware after someone reported a possible scam.
They said it came in the form of an email claiming to be from the Baldwin County clerk’s office telling them they needed to post a bond.
Circuit clerk Brenda Ganey details what was in that email.
“There was a copy of an order from the judge saying that an alias warrant had been issued for failure to appear and that they needed to go to a kiosk at a local convenience store or a Walmart-- any kind of center like that where there was a bitcoin kiosk and post a bond and then report to the sheriff’s department,” said Ganey.
At first glance, both Ganey and Heinz say the letter looked legitimate. But tell-tale signs soon gave it away.
“The email address it came from was not a ‘.gov’ email address, it was a ‘gmail’ account. Nothing from a government agency is going to come from a gmail address,” explained Heinz. “Some other red flags to me were grammar and misspellings.”
Heinz says scamming is a growing problem everywhere.
“We’ve seen cases in Baldwin County that people are being scammed upwards out of 500 thousand dollars,” added Heinz.
“Kids are constantly in front of their devices. Adults are constantly in front of their devices. They take them with them everywhere and so with that-- there’s always gonna be a rise in technology crime,” she said.
While anyone can fall victim to a hoax, many times it’s the elderly who are targeted. Senior Care Coordinator Dorothy White has fallen victim, too.
“He told me I had to go get a PayPal card and put a thousand dollars on it. That was crazy, I should have thought more clearly but I was scared, frightened by it,” said White.
Now, White has turned that experience into helping others.
“Ever since then, I have been so aware of what goes on with these seniors especially because you’re not thinking clear, you’re not taking time to think. We live in a time where we didn’t have this kind of thing. Our police department and our sheriff’s department have come and talk to us about it. I don’t want anybody to be scammed. We worked hard all our lives and we don’t want our life savings given away,” concluded White.
Baldwin County officials advising everyone-- if you see something, say something.
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