Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Columbia police are investigating a man they say is posing as an officer who's going door-to-door trying to get your personal information.
Chief Randy Scott says they had two incidents Monday where a man wearing a suit and giving his name as "Ferguson" approached an elderly victim outside of his Oak Street home and stated that he worked with crime prevention. The man, according to police, did not name a specific law enforcement agency.
The victim told police that the man said that there had been drug activity in the area and that the drug suspects were reportedly living at the victim's residence.
He went on to say that the victim's bank account had been hacked and someone tried to steal several thousand dollars.
The victim asked the man for identification and he pulled up his shirt to show a gold badge with blue lettering that read, "Crime Suppression".
Police say the con-man told his victim that an investigator wanted to talk with him at the bank and offered him a ride to the location.
The victim declined and saw the man get into his vehicle and drive in the direction of Green Street.
He is described as a black male, possibly in his mid 40's, wearing blue or gray slacks, light blue shirt and a ball cap.
The vehicle, according to police, is described as a gray or light-colored Mercedes Benz (no known model).
Chief Scott says his agency does not operate this way and is not going door to door requesting this info.
"Door-to-door scams are common among retirement-age citizens. Scammers know that these residents are more likely to be home and not busy at work. They are also less likely to be rude and not listen to the scammer."
If someone comes to your door requesting this info, Scott says call 9-1-1 immediately. If you know anything about this man, you're asked to call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.
- If someone comes to your home, do not feel obligated to answer the door.
- If you feel uncomfortable, call 9-1-1.
- Do not invite strangers into your home.
- Do not discuss personal bank information with strangers.
- Do not give money to strangers.
- If someone claims to be in law enforcement, ask to see identification. If identification is not provided, call 9-1-1.
- Try to get a description of the suspect including any possibly vehicle information.
- Report suspicious activity to police immediately.