Area police agencies are warning lowcountry residents about phone scammers that use local references to trick victims.
The Charleston Police Department, Charleston County Sheriff's Office, and Hanahan Police Department all report several instances of a person telephoning a victim and saying that a family member was injured in a car accident, or is being held captive, before demanding money. Although the calling phone number originates in a different area code, in many cases, the suspect mentions a lowcountry street to the victim.
"It's just all part of the scam to make them feel that it is legitimate using a well-known local street that everybody in the area is familiar with," Hanahan Police Lt. Michael Fowler says.
In many instances, that well-known street is Dorchester Road in North Charleston.
At least one person has fallen prey to the ruse. According to a Charleston Police report, a 64-year-old man wired $240 to a Puerto Rican account after receiving a call that his son and grandson had been kidnapped.
People who receive such a phone call are advised to contact their local police.