Convenience stores

Columbus police warn of phone scam targeting convenience stores

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) – The Columbus Police Department is warning the community with a scam alert. An old trick makes an appearance in Fountain Town and targets the cash registers of local convenience stores.

A detective with the Columbus Police Department’s Financial Crimes Unit, Braden Dobbins, said the scammers posed as law enforcement officers over the phone and defrauded businesses of thousands of dollars, and it’s happening. frequently produced in the valley.

“We had several scams calling stores in Columbus Georgia. It’s an old scam, but it’s coming back,” Dobbins said.

Dobbins says this scam takes place in convenience stores.

“They pretend to be someone from head office, informing the sales people or the clerk, that an FBI agent, US Marshall or other federal agent will be in contact with them, and want the money out of the safe or registers, and telling them to load a gift card with cash,” Dobbins said.

Something the detective says happens too often and they hope to get it under control.

“We investigated losses of approximately $25,000 in just two days at a store in Columbus. In the last two weeks, we’re about $40,000 off this scam,” Dobbins said.

Police have not released the names or locations of the businesses involved, but Dobbins adds that only this week the scammers made an appearance at a local store.

“The company offices won’t call you at 3, 4 a.m., in the middle of the night…on the weekend, to tell you to load those gift cards. Every time someone asks you to charge a gift card, it will be a scam,” Dobbins said.

Dobbins says anyone with more information about these types of incidents can contact the Columbus Police Department’s Financial Crimes Unit at 706-225-4271.

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