GREEENSBORO, NC – Protecting your identity has many steps to it. Part of it is simply awareness of the schemes that are out there and how they work.

From the beginning of January to early May 2017, North Carolinians have lost over $2.1 million and that is just from the cases that have been reported to the NC Attorney General’s office.

Top scams targeting NC consumers:
1-Sweetheart Scams- 18 victims lost a total of $1,308,583
2-Sweepstakes Scams - 44 victims lost a total of $549,971
3-Government Grant Scams - 23 victims lost a total of $89,017
4-Grandparent Scams - 17 victims lost a total of $88,583
5-Jury Duty Scams - 6 victims lost a total of $55,100
6-Utility Scams - 10 victims lost a total of $14,685

WFMY has done stories on ALL of these scams. Click each one to learn how they operate.

What happens when file a complaint with the AG’s office?

Narcisa Woods says, “consumer complaints help our office monitor questionable business practices, set priorities for enforcement efforts, and make recommendations for changes to the law.”

The information we receive from consumers is used to:
1. Warn the public about the threat, our Public Protection Section of the Consumer Protection Division to speak to consumers in the 100 NC counties and coordinate with news outlets/media to warn consumers on how to ward off these scams.
2. We share that information with the Federal Trade Commission and law enforcement,
3. In some cases, we work with financial institutions or the U.S. Postal Service to stop wire transfers or money orders.

This is a GREAT Example of how the AG’s office can help:

“Our most recent success was on, 5/11/2017. We received a report from North Carolina State Employee Credit Union (SECU) of a 69-year-old consumer that appeared to be a repeat victim of the Sweetheart Scam where she made several large bank to bank wires since April 2017 totaling $66,500. The consumer had just withdrawn an additional $50,000, requested a $50,000 cashier's check and was instructed by the scammer to send it via USPS.
The consumer met a guy on Face book who gained her trust and led her to believe that he was a supervisor on an oil rig for Exxon and needed money to purchase a motor because the insurance would not cover it. He also sent her a copy of a $4.5 Million check to convince her that he would reimburse her when his funds were available.

NCDOJ contacted the victim who was advised that this was a scam and she provided our office with the USPS tracking number where she had just mailed the check.

NCDOJ collaborated with US Postal Inspectors and was successful with intercepting and recovering the $50,000 in the envelope containing the check. We requested a wire transfer interdiction with both wire transfer companies and reached out to her family members to assist further with breaking the cycle of re-victimization. SECU have also blocked any future bank to bank wires.”

Consumers can contact our office by calling 1.877.5No Scam or visiting our website NDOJ.