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Stockbridge warns residents about courthouse scam

6:18 PM, Apr 3, 2013   |    comments
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(AP file)

STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. -- A warning about a telephone scam involving the Stockbridge Courts and a caution that when you telephone rings, do not necessarily believe the name or organization that appears on the caller ID.

It could be a fake, generated by an easy to get computer program that could con you out of your personal information.

"You can just go to the Google Play Store and within ten seconds you can download an APP that will basically spoof your telephone number," said Jason Alexander of the Total Technology Group.

"You put in the number you want it to look like, whether it's the White House or a number from contacts, any number and hit dial," he added.

In Stockbridge, scammers tried to push pay-day loans using the Stockbridge Courts as a ruse.

"The caller would actually say they have outstanding warrants and unpaid tickets and those they needed to do a pay-day loan, and then they would try to get personal information to them in order to process it," said David Milliron, Stockbridge City Manager.

To be convincing, a second call quickly followed.

"Let me have someone from the court call you in 10 minutes and sure enough, 10 minutes later the phone would ring. On the caller ID it would show the courts telephone as if it was the court number," he added.

Officials say the caller would then threaten that police could come to the door with a warrant if the loan wasn't secured.

Henry County Police say that so far people called have escaped falling for the scam, but they warn. 

"If you've never done any business with them prior to that, never give your personal information or debit card or anything like that to the caller unless you verify who they are," said Sgt. Joey Smith of the Henry County Police.

Better yet, if you see a number or ID you don't recognize, don't answer the phone. 

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