Scams a’plenty in area, across state

Residents of Atmore and Escambia County have reported on Facebook the possibility of a scam involving an alleged housecleaning company, Alabama law enforcement officials have reported a ruse involving gift cards, and the state’s top lawyer has warned that calls from his office demanding money are also part of a racket.

A person who lives in the Robinsonville area recently posted on Facebook that “this lady knocked on my door and handed me a paper and asked me about cleaning my floors.” When the resident told the woman she wasn’t interested, the alleged floor-cleaner, who was a passenger in a “goldish color Tahoe with very dark tinted windows,” reportedly “tried to come into my house.”

An Atmore resident posted that “there was a couple (a young white female and a young black male) in town doing the same thing on Saturday.”

Spokespersons for the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office and the Atmore Police Department reported this week that their respective agencies had not received any reports of such activity.

Walmart gift cards
Another scam warning, this one issued by Alabama Law Enforcement Agency officials, was related to individuals who have been targeting Alabama residents, specifically senior citizens.

The caller reportedly poses as the elderly person’s grandson who says he is in financial trouble and requests assistance in the form of Walmart gift cards. So far, state agents have identified three victims – one each in Etowah, Jackson and Washington counties – who have been bilked out of a total of approximately $13,000.

Pay or go to jail
Finally, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange warned this week of a recurring scam involving callers who falsely claim to be from the Attorney General’s Office. Five individuals have reported that they received messages purporting to be from the Attorney General’s Office and saying that a legal matter must be resolved immediately.

In the past, scammers said they were attempting to collect a debt and threatened arrest if the debt was not paid.

This scam is very similar to others reported in Alabama in which callers posing as law enforcement have demanded payment for either an unpaid bill or to avoid arrest for missed jury duty. The scammer then reassures the victim the whole matter can be settled without an arrest if the victim will purchase a pre-paid credit card, often from a specific retail store, and pay the bond over the phone.

State and local authorities urge citizens to report any suspicious phone calls from or contact with people who ask for money.