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Effingham County Sheriff's Office reports
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April 11
Flim flam
A woman said she had received a call from the IRS and the person on the other end identified herself as Officer Michelle Brown, who demanded a $1,700 payment that day on a Green Dot MoneyPak card. The woman said the person on the phone threatened to arrest her and take everything she owned. The woman went to a local store and bought $1,700 in MoneyPak cards, then called the number back and read each of the numbers on the back of the cards. They also asked her when she could make another payment, and she told them she had no more money.

Her brother called the number back and used several profanities. They allegedly explained that the money had been returned and to check her bank. Deputies told her it would be impossible to return the money without her banking information.

A deputy called the number in question, and a man answered saying he was an IRS investigator. The deputy asked to speak with Officer Brown but the man hung up after hearing the deputy’s radio.

April 12
Identity theft
A woman went to the ECSO to report she had gotten calls from a collection agency, which told her she owed $1,400. She told them she was not delinquent on her phone bill, and they began asking her personal questions, which she would not answer, fearing it was a scam. She was asked if she still lived in Rincon and she said she has never lived in Rincon. The collection agency gave her the number to Verizon’s fraud department. A representative at the Verizon fraud department told her two phone numbers had been activated in her name with her Social Security number last August. The accounts had been suspended for non-payment. The woman was provided an email address for updated information, and she was advised to file an incident report so Verizon could start its own investigation.