Beware: Top reported scams in Mississippi

Beware: Top reported scams in Mississippi
(Photo source: WDAM)

There's no hiding from scammers these days. On the phone, in your e-mail or even taking advantage of loved ones.

'"It's scary," said Jones County Sheriff Alex Hodge. "It's happening in any form or fashion you can imagine and they are making billions of dollars per year off of it."

Hodge said he got a call Monday morning from a friend in Alabama who stated he received a call from someone, pretending to be the Sheriff.

"We get people come in here who have been scammed for hundreds of thousands of dollars right here in Jones County."

The Mississippi Attorney General's Office began tracking calls reporting scams in July of last year. As of March 16, more than 1,200 scams had been reported to officials.

Type Scams - Totals:
  • Arrest (threaten) - 48
  • Auto warranty - 1
  • Can wrapping/Dr. Pepper - 3
  • Charity - 2
  • Credit card - 3
  • Counterfeit check - 6
  • Craigslist - 6
  • Cupid - 1
  • Dating website money - 1
  • Debt Collection - 9
  • Ebay - (provided empty)
  • Facebook - 5
  • Friend - Need help - 1
  • Gift cards - 1
  • Grandparent (GP) - 55
  • Grant/Gov. grants - 73
  • Inheritance - 3
  • Internet - 14
  • IRS - 401
  • Jury duty - 14
  • Law Enforcement/1st Responder - 20
  • Lottery/sweepstakes - 69
  • Microsoft/computer - 15
  • MISC - 205
  • Money - 1
  • Mystery shopper - 13
  • Payday loan - 16
  • Publisher CH (PCH) - 49
  • Phishing - 21
  • Reshipping - 1
  • Social security - 15
  • Solicitation/Donation - 1
  • Spoofing - 17
  • Sweetheart - 6
  • Tech/computer scams - 45
  • Utility (Entergy, etc.) - 12
  • Warranty - 1
  • Work at home - 3
  • "YES" - 47

TOTAL - 1,204

Laurel Accountant Emily Ellzey said clients constantly ask about the possible IRS fraud. She said the give-away is the phone call claiming to be from the government. 

"The IRS will never call, they will never demand payment over the phone, they will send a letter. They will not threaten you with local law enforcement," said Ellzey.

"Encourage people to report any suspicious activitiy, keep your eyes and ears open. Not only effecting you, but your mothers, fathers, grandfathers, grandmothers," said Hodge. "Look at for those folks because it is absolutely taking money out of their banks, absolutely."

If you have concerns about whether something is legitimate or a scam, or you suspect that you have become a victim of a scam, please contact the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General's Office at 601-359-4230 or 1-800-281-4418, if you are in Mississippi.