FINCASTLE – The Botetourt County Sheriff’s Office is asking citizens to be aware of two scams occurring.
The first is scam involves gift cards. Scammers are calling people and asking them to pay bills using gift cards. Gift cards are like money, the Sheriff’s Office said, so it’s unlikely the victim’s money will be returned. Once the scammer has the card number and its PIN, they have immediate access to the money loaded on that card. In other words, the money is gone without a trace.
“No legitimate business or government office will ever ask for you to make payment with a gift card,” the Sheriff’s Office advises.
The second scam the department wants citizens to be aware of are individuals who are posing as Appalachian Power Co. (APCo) employees demanding payments within a couple hours or power will be cut off.
The Sheriff’s Office said there are four signs the call is a scam. One, caller demands payment within a couple hours. Two, caller asks for personal information. Three, the caller insists on a certain form of payment, usually a pre-paid credit card from a convenience store, and four, calling from an unfamiliar number, not 800 or 888.
For more information on how to avoid scams, visit Appalachianpower.com.