Robert Radcliff

Sheriff Robert Radcliff

CIRCLEVILLE — An incident involving a phone scam almost perpetrated on a Pickaway County woman has Sheriff Robert Radcliff reminding the public to be leery about anyone asking for your private information over the phone.

In addition, the Pickaway County sheriff said his office has been receiving a little more activity lately along this line and general complaints from residents about paying for work that is not completed or the finished job lacks quality.

“Always know with whom you’re dealing,” Radcliff said. “You just don’t want to get burned.”

He anticipates that there will be people seeking to help those whose properties might have been damaged during Thursday’s early evening storm. Most of them will be legitimate, he said, though people should always ask for references and do a little checking on the company, by, for instance, calling the Better Business Bureau.

Many of those types of situations are civil matters, which is why anyone should conduct due diligence before signing a contract or handing over money to someone.

In the phone scam attempt, Radcliff received a call about it while at a Rotary meeting on Thursday.

A grandmother got a call about her granddaughter who supposedly was jailed in Florida. To get her out, the grandmother was to cash out a certificate of deposit and then go to a big-box retailer in Grove City and purchase a gift card. And, she had limited time to accomplish the feat.

Radcliff said the woman did just that but as she pulled into the parking lot, she stopped, sensed something wasn’t right and called the sheriff’s office. The sheriff told her it was nothing more than a scam and was able to work with a local bank that redeposited the CD without any penalties to the woman.

It’s just not the sheriff who hears these types of complaints.

Circleville police took two incident reports this week about residents who received calls from people alleging to be with the Social Security office. They told the residents that they were going to lose the benefits because they were involved with crimes such as money laundering and human trafficking.

The callers plied each for personal information. One of the residents offered up the last four digits of his Social Security number, according to an incident report.

Police told the man to never hand out information over the phone and never deal with anyone who tries to scare you into doing something.

Radcliff said that is a common way scammers work. “But they are not going to come after you; they’re just not going to do that.”

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