A scam that preys on the elderly and their willingness to help a relative in need, has become a problem in one eastern Carolina county.
Since March 15, 2011, the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office has received two reports of fraudulent activity involving scammers asking victims to wire money to bail out a relative in jail.
Beaufort County Investigators say the suspects may represent themselves as a relative of the victim, a bail bondsman, or a representative of a law enforcement agency that has the victim's relative under arrest. The scammers then ask the victims to wire money soon as possible to help them.
The Sheriff's Office recommends citizens verify the information before wiring of funds to help friends or relatives.
Most requests for immediate wire transfers of money are fraudulent.
Citizens should ask the caller for their name, location, business name, and phone number.
Citizens can protect themselves by contacting family members to find out if the alleged relative is in fact incarcerated or by contacting their local law enforcement agency to request assistance.
If the caller's request does not seem quite right, it probably is not.