WALTERBORO, SC (WCSC) - A Colleton County family called deputies after they say men masquerading as security company employees tried to scam them.
Deputies responded at approximately 5:52 p.m. to a home in the 200 block of Carolina Circle in Walterboro where the homeowner said a fake security company representative tried to scam them with an upgrade offer.
The victim told deputies an older man drove to his home in a small white hatchback with a CPI decal on the door. The incident report states the man told the victim he was receiving a free upgrade to his security system. The man told the victim he would need to sign a new contract to get the upgrade and that the man would need to remove the old system, the report states.
The victim told him the account was in his wife's name and he would need to speak to her first and said the man then left saying he would return at a later time.
The victim's wife told deputies she called Palmetto Security and was advised it is a scam and that other customers have reported similar issues.
Palmetto Security Systems spokesperson Meredith Schosky said she has heard scammers have been targeting homes in rural areas.
She stressed that Palmetto Security Systems and are not affiliated with each other; the customers targeted in this incident are customers of Palmetto Security Systems customers; that's why the customer called them to verify whether the upgrade was legitimate.
CPI is a legitimate security company that provides service across the Lowcountry, but spokesperson Heidi Cowley said the man who came the family's door does not work for CPI.
"If we did not call in advance, that's not us," Schosky said about anyone claiming to work for them. She said the company will always call ahead of a service call rather than showing up unannounced. Schosky said their employees drive company vans and wear navy blue shirts that have Palmetto Security Systems logos or the initials PSS or CSI.
Cowley said CPI agents would likewise never show up at an existing customer's door for an upgrade without calling them first.
Both companies say anyone who doubts the legitimacy of someone claiming to work for a security company who shows up at their door unannounced should call their security provider immediately to verify that the so-called employee is who he or she claims to be.
Cowley said CPI was assisting Colleton County deputies in the investigation into the impersonators.
If you have information on the case, you are asked to call the Colleton County Sheriff's Office at 843-549-2211 or Crime Stoppers at 843-554-1111.