WILLIAMSON COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - Williamson County Sheriff Bennie Vick warns churches of suspicious phone calls in the area asking for money.
Vick says local churches have been getting calls from a person identifying himself as "Deputy Robinson" in Roseville, West Virginia. This person then tells a story or puts another person on the phone to tell the story.
The second person on the phone tells the church that he/she attended the church several months ago. That person says that now, he/she has moved to West Virginia and his/her car has broken down on the interstate. The person says he/she has had his/her car towed, but the tow bill cost more money than that person has. The person asks the church to wire money to him/her or to the tow company owner's son using "Moneygram" so the person can pay the bill and get home to his/her family.
In another version of this scam, "Deputy Robinson" asks for the pastor of the church. He says there has been a deadly traffic crash, and the victims had a church bulletin from several months ago in the car. "Deputy Robinson" says the victims had children in the car who need help immediately. The church is to wire money to "Deputy Robinson" by Western Union and he will make sure the children are taken care of.
Vick says Moneygram and Western Union money transfers cannot be tracked once the money is picked up.
Churches are asked to use caution and thoroughly verify any story before sending money.