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Elderly Conway woman says she received scam letter after speaking out on road project

Sandridge community concerned about proposed route of Conway perimeter road

Cedric Blain-Spain, a community activist in Conway is speaking out against the potential construction of a perimeter road through the Sandridge Community off U.S. Highway 378.
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Cedric Blain-Spain, a community activist in Conway is speaking out against the potential construction of a perimeter road through the Sandridge Community off U.S. Highway 378.

An 88-year-old woman says she received a scam letter telling her she was to evacuate her property days she spoke to a news outlet about a road project potentially coming near her home.

Sarah Lee Faulk lives near one of the corridors for the RIDE III Conway Perimeter Road in the Sandridge Community. She spoke to The Horry Independent, a local news outlet, about the possibility of imminent domain being used against her in order to build the project.

On Monday, less than a week after the article ran, she said she found a suspicious letter without a return address in her mailbox. It claimed to be from South Carolina Department of Transportation official “Jerome F. Peters” informing her that she was to evacuate her property by Aug. 1.

“Happy moving,” the letter said in conclusion.

Faulk said she gave it to her daughter, who quickly identified as a fake letter.

“It was not a good feeling,” Faulk said.

The letter was suspicious and included a logo that doesn’t match the official one used by SCDOT. Faulk called Horry County police and SCDOT about the phony letter, and recommends others do the same if they get a similar one.

At this time it is not known who made the letter nor why they did it.

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The fake letter claiming to be from SCDOT sent to a Sandridge resident. Tyler Fleming

It will be years before construction begins on the perimeter road between Highway 701 and Highway 378. Once completed, it will create a U-shaped route to get around Conway without having to get on a highway.

The details of the project are still undergoing community input sessions, with the final corridor for the road still unknown to the residents of the Sandridge Community. The next meeting will be on Aug. 8 at 5 p.m. in the Horry County Government building in Conway.

Once a route for the road is picked, people will be notified about whether they will have to relocate.

Read more about the Conway Perimeter Road here.

Community activist Cedric Blain-Spain said this was a stupid attempt to threaten and take advantage of an elder in the community. While this was just one letter, he said it shows someone out there is trying to mess with folks concerned about the future of their neighborhoods.

“That causes me to wonder if he, she or them that would stoop that low, it tells me they have no regards for their own mother, grandmother or great-grandmother,” Blain-Spain said. “They thought we were just some country folks who didn’t know any better. They didn’t think we would thoroughly investigate and turn it over to the authorities.”

He added that this is just one example of why residents should question who is behind the mail they receive. Blain-Spain also said staying informed and getting involved is a great way to detect phony letters.

“That is the importance of being involved, proactive and knowing the agencies involved in this project,” he said.

Horry County Spokesperson Kelly Moore encouraged residents who think they’re being scammed to notify authorities.

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