Live 5 Scambusters: New task force takes aim at Coronavirus scams and fraud

Scam artists have been preying on fears of the coronavirus and fraud as been rampant during this pandemic but a new task force has been started to battle the unseen enemy.

  SC DSS: Child abuse reports down during pandemic

  Robocalls advertising fake coronavirus-related products and bogus deals

  Live 5 Scambusters: Scammers want your stimulus check as much as you

Billions of dollars at stake for S.C. in 2020 census

  36,000 medical supplies delivering to 6 local counties

  Hospitals report 18% of ventilators in use statewide

Continued Coverage

FACT OR FICTION: Where did the anti-Advil advice really come from?

Pharmacists: Doctors writing prescriptions for possible COVID-19 treatment at expense of chronically-ill patients

Live 5 Scambusters: Robocall scams offer fake coronavirus tests, personal protection equipment

  FACT OR FICTION: Can mosquitoes spread COVID-19?

FACT OR FICTION: How long can COVID-19 survive on surfaces?

  FACT OR FICTION: Will hot weather kill COVID-19?

  Coping at home and talking to kids about COVID-19

Many families are struggling right now while trying to establish a new normal with kids or grandkids at home.

  FACT OR FICTION: Can pets spread viruses?

Some strains of coronaviruses have been around for years, including those that can make animals sick, according to the CDC.

  Live 5 Scambusters: Scammers create new coronavirus danger

Scammers following the headlines are creating another danger with the coronavirus.

Can you be fired for not going to work during a pandemic?

There’s been a 400 percent increase in unemployment claims filed this week, according to The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce.

  SC Law: Balancing public meetings with public health

  Watching Your Wallet: Travel insurance likely won’t cover coronavirus-related cancellations

  FACT OR FICTION: Does wearing masks really help?

COVID-19 Tracker: Check out the latest on test results around the country

  Watching Your Wallet: With coronavirus causing market volatility, financial experts help you watch your nest egg

  Sanitized: Online listings for hand sanitizer, disinfectant advertise inflated prices

  You Paid For It: Update on REAL IDs

By October, your South Carolina driver’s license must have a gold star on it to meet federal REAL ID standards.

Deputies warn of scam involving fake cashier’s checks

The Colleton County Sheriff's Office is warning residents about scammers handing out fraudulent cashier's checks.

  Congress takes up insurance rate discrimination

A House subcommittee is considering making changes to insurance laws to stop car insurance companies from basing rates on factors like credit scores.

  Charleston County plans to replace juvenile detention center

The Charleston County Juvenile Detention Center, which opened along Headquarters Road in North Charleston more than 50 years ago, is slated to move roughly half a mile away to 3765 Leeds Avenue.

  Live 5 Investigates: Traffic concerns in West Ashley with new building construction

Many parents and West Ashley drivers reached out to Live5News with concerns about how the traffic will get worse with the addition of three large projects in the next year.

  Update: SC Offenders missing from probation and parole

A Live 5 Investigation found that more than 5,700 convicted criminals in South Carolina were missing in 2018, labeled as “absconders”, from the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services (DPPPS).

  You Paid For It: Port security grants

The South Carolina Ports Authority says an average of six vessels sail into our state’s harbors every day, carrying cargo worth more than $150 million.

  New court records filed involving Charleston County school employee accused of assault

New court records were filed on Wednesday in the case involving several young boys who say they were sexually assaulted by a Charleston County Schools employee.

  $150k settlement to CCSD HR chief for board member’s Facebook comments

The Charleston County School District and its insurer paid a $150,000 settlement to its chief human resources officer for a school board member’s Facebook comments, according to documents obtained under the SC Freedom of Information Act.

  SC leader taking Lowcountry nonprofit to court

A South Carolina leader is now taking a Tri-County nonprofit to court after a Live 5 investigation showed it was soliciting donations despite being suspended by the Secretary of State.

  Rate Discrimination: Some insurance companies give better rates for customers with certain jobs, education

Drivers with less education or jobs that typically pay less may face higher car insurance rates, according to an industry insider.

  Live 5 Scambusters: You don’t have to pay for a 2020 Census job

The U.S. Census Bureau is still hiring thousands of workers but you need to recognize the real jobs from the scams.

  You (Helped) Pay For It: New Children’s Hospital

This weekend is the final milestone for MUSC’s new Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital downtown.

  Patriot Penalty: Deployed service members come home to find higher auto insurance rates

Service members who cancel their car insurance to serve overseas may come back to find higher rate quotes after telling companies they didn't have coverage because of deployment.

  Live 5 Investigates: What’s in the works to fix a dangerous downtown intersection?

After hearing multiple complaints from people who live and work along Calhoun Street and Ashley Avenue, our team staked out to see why people were calling the area dangerous.

  Live 5 Scambusters: Romance scammer reveals tricks of the trade

Romance scams are still some of the most expensive forms of online fraud costing victims more than $200 million in 2019.

  Watching Your Wallet: How to become a 401(k) millionaire

From using a specialized retirement plan to considering using a "robo advisor," experts explain how you can grow your retirement savings.

  You Paid For It: Councilmember salaries throughout S.C.

Our local elected county council members make an average of $16-17,000 in pay every year, according to numbers published by the South Carolina Association of Counties.

  Costly Care: Medicare charged hundreds more than drug’s cost at cash value

A man noticed his insurance paid all of one medication, but then he discovered the federal government was billed hundreds more than market value.

  Cane Bay High School student’s family shares story of son’s suicide to help save others

Teen suicides have increased at an alarming rate, according to recent data. One Berkeley County family is living the reality of that epidemic now.

  Charleston Co. Democratic Party no longer offering guaranteed seats to debate in exchange for $1700+ online sponsorship

Less than 24 hours after a Live 5 News report on the high cost of a guaranteed seat at the Democratic Presidential Debate, the Charleston County Democratic Party no longer shows the option on their website.

  You Paid For It: City security up for bids

The City of Charleston is soliciting bids for security guards in several city buildings.

  Live 5 Scambusters: Phony Facebook friend lures Lowcountry woman into fake grant scam

Ignoring phone calls and messages from someone you don't know is a great way to avoid scams, but you could also fall victim thanks to someone you think is a friend.

  Live 5 Investigates: Who’s Driving the School Bus?

An attempt to confirm school bus drivers in the Lowcountry are being properly screened and backgrounded came to a halt after Live 5 asked Charleston County Schools and its bus contractor for a list of people who are driving CCSD students.

  Illegal Contact: Banned drugs found in athletic performance supplements

Current and former NFL players say they have tested positive for drugs because of contaminated supplements. Scientists say it's a problem not just for athletes but anyone taking supplements - particularly those in performance-enhancement categories like weight loss and muscle building.

  Live 5 Scambusters: Family scammed trying to buy Monster Jam tickets on Craigslist

A family hoping to enjoy the roar of monster trucks at the North Charleston coliseum lost hundreds of dollars in a ticket scam.

  You Paid For It: Chas. County recycling center

The MRF, the Materials Recovery Facility that’s under construction in Charleston County, will be even bigger than initially announced. Originally planned for 57,000 square feet, county leaders say it will now be around 65,000 square feet.

  Audit reveals serious misuse of tax dollars in Williamsburg Co. Transit System

A five-month long audit and financial investigation of the Williamsburg County Transit System (WCTS) uncovered alleged misspending from inflated employee pay to mysterious gift cards.

  Live 5 Scambusters: FedEx delivers scam warning about phishing texts and emails

FedEx has put out a warning about a scam that may be targeting your phone.

  Report: Charleston VA medical center’s construction delays increased costs by thousands

A 2019 report revealed some construction projects at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center were delayed almost two years and resulted in increased costs of at least $441,000.

  SLED Forensic Artists helping in local cases

A two-woman team of special agents works to bring closure to families and closed cases to investigators.

  Live 5 Scambusters: Local law enforcement agencies issue warnings about jury duty scams

A long-running jury duty scam is ramping up again around the Lowcountry and local law enforcement agencies have been sending out alerts.

  You Paid For It: Traffic Congestion Study of Hwy. 17

As Charleston grows, county engineers say traffic is only going to get worse and they’re working now on a plan for that future congestion.

  Live 5 Scambusters: Clemson fans need to be aware of fake National Championship tickets

Fans planning to make the trek to New Orleans to see Clemson play LSU for the College Football Playoff Championship game need to be aware of ticket scams that are too good to be true.

  Live 5 Scambusters: How and where to report scams

If you've been a victim of a scam, you want someone to pay but may not know how to report it.

  Recognizing Hate: FBI begins counting its own hate crime cases in federal data, inaccurate numbers remain

After years of breaking the law, the FBI has finally and quietly released its own hate crime statistics. As InvestigateTV uncovered in Measure of Hate, while the FBI published annual hate crime statistics, the agency failed to release its own numbers.

  Watching Your Wallet: Make smart money moves before 2020

From maxing out retirement contributions to checking your car insurance rates, experts say there are a few smart financial steps to take before the new year starts.

  Live 5 Scambusters: Top scams of 2019

Scam artists have been busy in 2019 with new scams and old twists on familiar schemes.

  Woman, mother and brother receive money after filing lawsuits against North Charleston police officers

Bowens says her mother told the officers their actions were racist. Bowens says that's when all three, she, her mother and brother, were handcuffed.

  Seizing money and assets to fund law enforcement efforts

Law enforcement officers in the Lowcountry seized more than a million dollars of money and assets last year that they suspected were related to drugs.

  Live 5 Scambusters: BBB warns about scams targeting holiday shoppers buying gift cards

An easy last-minute gift idea or stocking stuffer has become a target for scam artists. The Better Business Bureau says scam artists are targeting gift cards during the holidays.

  Customers claim contractor took payments, never completed swimming pools

The dream of swimming or hosting backyard pool parties turned into a nightmare for several Lowcountry couples who all hired the same contractor.

Documents: James Island Charter students spent $680K on bus transportation

James Island Charter High School’s principal estimates having a new bus lot at the school could save more than $200,000 per year in transportation costs for students.

  Live 5 Scambusters: Lowcountry man falls victim to online vehicle scam through eBay Motors

A Lowcountry man trying to buy his grandchildren a truck for Christmas is out hundreds of dollars after falling victim to an online vehicle scam.

  Delay in reporting Narcan use leads to change at Charleston Co. Sheriff’s Office

Narcan is considered a life-saving drug in the ongoing opioid epidemic, but if law enforcement agencies in South Carolina are not reporting when they use it, the medication may not be on hand when it’s needed the most.

  Live 5 Scambusters: Dominion Energy alerts customers about scams during the holidays

Dominion Energy is warning customers about scam calls threatening to shut off power because of overdue bills.

  You Paid For It: Replacing James Island PSD’s oldest fire station

Construction is underway to replace the busiest and oldest fire station in James Island’s Public Service District.

  Video shows man getting inside Camp Road Middle School

Video obtained from the Charleston County School District through the state Freedom of Information Act shows a man who got inside Camp Road Middle School school and walked around for about five minutes.

  Preying on patriotism: Sham veterans and first-responder charities ousted for deception, their professional fundraisers largely left unscathed

Sham veterans and first-responder charities have been put out of business for misusing donations but their third-party, for-profit fundraisers remain in business.

  Watching Your Wallet: Don’t break your gift budget this holiday season

Americans plan to spend an average of $825 on holiday gifts this year, according to NerdWallet. Experts give you ways to stay on budget and find the best deals.

  Cashing in on Charity: Donations meant to help sick children, wounded veterans, abused animals instead benefit for-profit fundraisers

Professional fundraisers are for-profit companies that contract with charities to solicit donations by telephone or through the mail. The industry is loosely regulated and can keep as much as 100% of donated dollars.

  Live 5 Scambusters: BBB calls ‘Secret Sister Gift Exchange’ an illegal pyramid scheme

The Better Business Bureau has put out a warning about the Secret Sister Gift Exchange, calling it a scam and a pyramid scheme.

  Live 5 Investigates: Charleston mayoral race attracted $175k in developer-related money

A look at their donations through State Ethics Commission filings showed both candidates accepted tens of thousands of dollars from people and companies connected to development.

Costco says $75 coupons are a scam

If you’re on Facebook a lot, chances are you’ve seen Costco coupons circulating this week.

  You Paid For It: Repairs for the storm-damaged Moncks Corner DMV

The Moncks Corner Department of Motor Vehicles office shut down after heavy wind and rain ruined the inside of the building on the Fourth of July.

  Charities breaking the law, soliciting donations while on suspension

Hundreds of charities in South Carolina are collecting money when they aren’t supposed to be and dozens of them were right here in the Lowcountry – taking in money despite being under state suspension.

  Live 5 Scambusters: Scam artists impersonate Social Security more than any other agency

Scam artists are trying to get your personal information by impersonating the Social Security Administration more than any other government agency.

Missed Opportunity: Federal initiative meant to help poor neighborhoods benefits the rich

Neighborhoods with an average income of about six-figures are labeled “distressed” by the federal government.