Ripley County sheriff’s deputies have identified individuals believed to be responsible for going door-to-door asking for money on behalf of Hope Baptist Church, Dillsboro. In August 2012, the sheriff’s office received complaints of a scam and began an investigation. After several months, suspects were located and interviewed. “Other persons who may have been victims or witnesses have been spoken to as well,” said Sheriff Tom Grills.
However, the investigation continues. Currently, names are being withheld pending formal charging by the prosecuting attorney. Grills noted, “If you believe that you or someone you know was a victim of this scam, or have information regarding this scam, please contact the sheriff’s office” at 812-689-5558.
Deputies also have received complaints of a phone call scam that tells homeowners there has been an area burglary. The caller advises they will install a free home alarm system and then requests private information.
The scam call comes from a Dominican Republic number, 767-275-4471. The sheriff advises if that number is on a caller ID, do not answer it. “Be cautious of any phone solicitation, and never give out your private information unless you trust the source 100 percent.”
He added, “Scams are going on everywhere, and it is hard to keep up with them .... there are way more reported than we can investigate. I would like to remind everyone to make donations locally if you like, and to make sure you do not give personal information out over the phone or through the mail. Also, make sure you inquire with the three major credit bureaus to monitor your credit every year.”
There is a large amount of identity theft happening as well. Persons who need more information on scams or how to protect their identities can visit the sheriff’s office Web site at http://www.ripleycounty.com/sheriff/, click on Public Safety Tips and Scams; call the sheriff; or attend a public seminar he will lead on scams and identity theft Monday, Jan. 21, at 10 a.m. at Buckeye Village, 806 S. Buckeye St., Osgood.