HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A warning for you to help start the new year scam-free. Residents in one Grand Strand community want others to be aware of a magazine scam some of them fell for. One victim said the scam convinced people to give away cash, checks and even credit card numbers.
It happened Monday, January 3, at the Cypress River Plantation community. The resident who spoke with WMBF News did not want to be identified, but said she's one that wouldn't typically fall for a scam. However, the two scammers who rang her doorbell said they were from her neighborhood. Solicitation is not allowed in Cypress River Plantation. The victim said the two scammers were well-spoken young men, and even provided an address a few streets from her as well as their parents names.
The correct address information combined with the fact they were selling magazines in a secured and gated community convinced the victim to donate some cash, she said.
She said besides their familiarity with the neighborhood, they claimed to be journalism students raising money through magazine sales for a trip to London.
"They offered that if you weren't interested in receiving the magazines personally, they would donate them to a children's hospital, they claimed, in North Carolina, where the sister of one of the young men worked. I don't know that that's true or not true, but I don't think these young men really have a job. They think that it's a job, but it's not," the victim told WMBF News.
She said the young men did tell her they were selling magazines for a company out of Myrtle Beach.
Once they left, she looked up the family names and street address they told her. The victim said that's when she couldn't find it in the neighborhood directory, realized it was a scam and called neighborhood security.
"So I think people should be aware. I'm somebody who doesn't think I could be taken in. I'm always one that says how do these old people get taken in? But I got taken in. Because these men were well-dressed, well-spoken...and, you know, appeared to be what he said he was. And you know, he had a pretty good story with an accurate street near by, and that type of thing," the victim said.
She said she alerted other neighbors that scammers were in the neighborhood, and they were caught by other residents and held until Horry County Police responded.
Charges weren't filed, the victim said, and the cash, checks and credit card numbers were returned.
She said she knows this isn't the only place this is happening in Horry County, and wants others to watch out.