South Carolina

SC residents on pace to lose more than $1.5 million to scammers this year

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Victims of scams in South Carolina lost more than $750,000 in the first half of 2017.

According to the S.C. Department of Consumer Affairs, the most common types of scams reported to the department are imposter scams, debt collection and sweepstakes scams, according to a news release warning residents to be on guard.

So far this year, victims of scams have lost a combined total of $753,643. Victims who reported scams without losing money reported potential losses of $764,672.

Scammers typically pose as an organization or person a resident is familiar with and might ask for money or personal information, according to the department.

Fake lottery and sweepstakes offers generally come from a phone caller, but could also show up in a mailbox or email inbox, the release said.

Debt collection scammers will use scare tactics to get their victim to pay a debt immediately and might also ask for Social Security numbers. The tactics include offering to settle debt for much less or threats of arrest unless the victim pays “fines” through untraceable methods such as gift cards or wire transfers.

To report a suspected scam, call 844-835-5322 or visit consumer.sc.gov and click the “Report a Scam” link.

Caitlin Turner: 843-706-8184, @Cait_E_Turner

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