Pelham Police alert residents of several area scams

Published 10:16 am Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Pelham Police Department warns of many area scams circulating throughout the county. (File)

The Pelham Police Department warns of many area scams circulating throughout the county. (File)

By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer

PELHAM— Several scams are currently circulating throughout Shelby County, and the Pelham Police Department warned citizens to be aware of them in a Dec. 14 Facebook post.

“It would be wise for everyone to take notice of these scams, especially around the holiday season,” said Pelham Police Chief Larry Palmer.

The post said that several companies have been calling local businesses to sell ads for Pelham High School Athletics, often on a calendar format. Although some of these companies are legitimate, owners or managers should investigate further to see if the person calling is a representative of Pelham High School.

If you have any questions about whether or not a contribution will benefit Pelham High School Athletics, the post advised calling Pelham High School Athletic Director Kim Kiel before making a contribution.

“Get a contact number and then verify the number and call back,” Palmer said. “Just check the source. Don’t ever give any information out that you aren’t comfortable with.”

If citizens receive a call from someone claiming to be from a company threatening to turn off your services if you don’t send money immediately, the police department recommends being cautious.

These callers often state that they are representing Alabama Power, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and the Internal Revenue Service, according to the Facebook post.

Many scams are also using police departments in their schemes, claiming to be raising money for charities, according to Palmer. He said these have been reported in Alabaster and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office in the past year.

“We would never solicit for a charity over the telephone and ask for payment over the telephone,” Palmer said.

Another reported scam is related to The post advised that sellers be wary if a buyer wants to send a check for an amount above the asking price. Those buyers may also want sellers to send the remainder of the funds to someone else.

“Finally, with Christmas just around the corner, the Pelham Police Department wants to remind you keep your vehicle and home locked at all times in order to safeguard your valuables,” the Facebook post stated. “Also, please do not place empty boxes from gifts by the curb, especially TV boxes. This allows passersby to know that you just received a new TV, and that is often tempting to criminals.”

Citizens with questions about these types of scams are urged to call the Pelham Police Department at 620-6550.

“The scams are out there and people just need to be careful,” Palmer said.