Charleston Police warn elderly residents about phone scam

CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) — The Charleston Police Department says it has received complaints from residents around the Lowcountry who have lost money due to a phone scam.

Sgt. Trevor Shelor with the Charleston Police Department says the most common scam calls begin with the caller pretending to be the victim’s grandchild. He says the caller convinces the victim to send money, in the form of gift cards, to get him or her out of legal trouble.

“They want you to go to a store and buy prepaid gift cards and come back and call them on the phone and give them the number on the gift cards … No body does business that way except for criminals,” said Shelor.

Shelor advises store workers who notice people buying large amounts of gift cards to question the purchase.

“Advise them that, ‘It very well could be a scam. Do you mind waiting for a minute while we have a police man come talk to you about it?'” said Shelor.

He also says those with elderly loved ones should make them aware of this scam.

“People are getting billed out of thousands and thousands of dollars, and they’re reluctant to tell their grown kids about it. You need to have this conversation with them,” Shelor said.

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