Monroe County Sheriff’s Department warns about online scammers

MONROE COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – Scammers are everywhere and they are always looking for their next target.

In Monroe County, the Sheriff’s Department shared on social media that multiple accounts have been hacked in the area.

One incident almost led to a dangerous situation for a homeowner.

Hackers have been posing as people who have listed items for sale on Facebook.

The hacker will sell items that they don’t own or that don’t exist, and collect the payment online, leaving the buyer cheated out of their money and looking for answers.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office posted on social media about an online scam that could have proven dangerous.

Sheriff Kevin Crook said the scam is leaving victims confused, frustrated, and angry.

“A gentleman that lives in our county that was hacked in the last couple of weeks has had a least three different visitors show up at his house demanding the items they have purchased from him, which they did not. Of course, you could see how that would lead to frustrations on both sides depending on the time of night these people are showing up,” said Crook.

Criminal Investigator Cherylann Roberson said that people should always be cautious when exchanging money online for items.

There are some things you can do to protect yourself, and maybe flush out a scammer.

“I would suggest to people rather than meeting at a residence I would suggest meeting at a public place. The sheriff’s department, the Monroe County Sheriff’s department, or any other branch of government where you know there will be cameras,” said Roberson.

If they refuse to meet you that should be a red flag that it’s likely a fake.

The sheriff’s department has tracked down a list of scammers in the past few months.

Sheriff Crook said those people can face five to 10 years in jail if caught.

The tricky thing is tracking down the hackers.

“These people doing it are not from here, they are not local and you can’t really get in touch with them and you have no idea who they are,” said Crook.

Roberson said that it is crucial for you to be aware.

If you receive any type of clickbait requesting information or money, don’t click on a link.

For people posing as someone on social media, make sure to check a few things out first.

“Definitely investigate the profile of the person you’re trying to purchase something from. Look at their photos. If they’ve got one or two pictures, that is a good indication that the account is probably not legit. If they have four or five friends, that is another good indication it is probably not a legit profile,” said Roberson.

Another way to protect your information is to create strong passwords and update them every few months.

If you think you’re being scammed, call your local law enforcement.

Sheriff Crook said that if you are buying something online and it seems too good to be true it probably is.

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