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Sheriff’s office to release scam awareness video

| June 3, 2024

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (June 3, 2024) – Tuscarawas County residents continue losing thousands of dollars to scams, but Sheriff Orvis Campbell and his staff are trying to change that. 

In a recent case reported to the sheriff’s office, a Frankin Township woman mailed out a money order for $18,000 after being contacted by someone claiming to be from Publishers’ Clearinghouse. Then, just days later, a similar scam cost a Sherrodsville area resident more than three times that amount. Campbell says the high-pressure tactics scammers have been using to get people to part with their hard-earned money are so effective that it’s not unusual for an otherwise level-headed person to fall for them.

“We handle so many of these. The individuals on the other end of the line are so convincing. We’ve had some gigantic losses in the past. We’ve had a recent case in the last year of a well-respected businessman who lost what’s estimated at close to a half a million. We’ve had numerous ones in the $25,000 to $100,000 area.”

Campbell says they can sometimes intervene but once the money makes it overseas, it’s nearly impossible to recover.

“And what’s incredible about these scams is when I talk to people and they’re calm almost universally, they laugh at the notion and say, ‘Well, that’s silly. Of course you shouldn’t.’ What happens is the hook at the beginning of this just gets people. Maybe they’re in a vulnerable state; maybe they’re older; maybe they’re desperate – and it gets them to raise their anxiety and they make bad judgments.” 

It’s been happening so often that the sheriff’s office is putting out an educational video on the topic.

“And we’re gonna distribute that video any way we can. It’ll be on our social media. It’ll be on our website. We’re gonna give it out to senior groups – anybody that will listen and take a free copy of this because these are life-altering amounts of money that are getting sent out.”

In the meantime, Campbell says if you get a call from someone demanding money or gift cards to pay a fine, resolve a warrant, bail a relative out of jail, or cover the taxes on a prize, hang up and contact his office or other local authorities.

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