Officials warn that scam calls are on the rise

ONSLOW COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – Phone scams are on the rise in several Eastern Carolina counties. While each scam seeks different information, officials offer the same advice.

The Onslow County Sheriff’s Office, the towns of Beaufort and Wallace, and New Bern police are all warning about the calls.

“I’ve received many phone call scams, email scams, text messages scams constantly,” said New Bern resident Randy Toran.

While the calls are not identical in how they ask for personal information, they are all scams.

Onslow County says it’s received reports of a social security scam, and the town of Beaufort says its community members have received calls about people impersonating the Carteret County sheriff’s office. New Bern police also say they have received reports of people impersonating an official. So, how can you know it’s fake?

“Places like the IRS they’re not gonna call. They’re gonna send you a letter. If you’re in trouble with law enforcement, I’m not gonna call and ask you for money. I’m gonna send a deputy; you’re gonna see a deputy in person,” said Onslow County Sheriff Chris Thomas.

Toran says while he didn’t receive one of these specific calls, he has been targeted by scammers in the past and says his best advice to the public is “Be really smart, and like I said, if it sounds too good to be true, a free trip or something like that, oh, we got your prize waiting for you just click this button, and we’ll send you all the information. It’s not true,”

Sheriff Thomas also recommends confirming who you are speaking to.

“If you don’t know for sure, that’s who you’re talking to, and it’s a stray random call that you received. Tell them thank you. I’m gonna call my local office and hang the phone up and call your local office they can verify for you,” said Sheriff Thomas.

The Town of Wallace also said they had seen a scam regarding sponsorship and funding for the Carolina Strawberry Festival.