Columbia Police Warn Residents About Phone Scams - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Columbia Police Warn Residents About Phone Scams

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COLUMBIA, Miss. - Columbia Police are warning Pine Belt residents of a phone scam where thieves say you've won a car and millions of dollars, then target your money.

"They want you to pay taxes on it," said Captain Mike Cooper of Columbia Police.

He said they've had hundreds of complaints about this type of scam in the past few months.

"This newest scheme is having them put money on a green dot card," he said.

That's exactly what a man told Columbia resident, Peggy Smith to do.

"He was like this Publishing Clearing House and you've won $2.5 million, are you excited?," she said.

Smith says she was then told to dial a 1-8-7-6 number, and to give them a confirmation code.

"I punched it in and it sounded like you would have actually won something," Smith said.

"Usually it's people from Jamaica or out of the states doing these scams," Cooper said.

Smith called the number back and that's when they asked her for $999.

"He said go to Walmart and get one of the little green cards," she said.

"If they are asking for money, you can believe it's a scam," Cooper said.

Luckily, Smith says she knew this was fake.

"I said God is going to get you from this and he hung up on me," she said.

Cooper says Smith is one of the lucky ones.

"It's virtually impossible to get your money back," he said.@

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