Putnam County sheriff says pine straw scam running rampant | #phishing | #scams


Sheriff Howard Sills says the criminals quote a low price before the job, but then demand more money once the project is done.

PUTNAM COUNTY, Ga. — As you start pulling out the tools to get your yard ready for spring, you may be a target for scammers.

“I’ve never seen this many scams, these different types going on. It’s truly endemic here in this county,” said Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills.

Some people in Putnam County are going door-to-door to sell pine straw, but watch out because it could actually be a scam. Con artists are targeting the elderly by offering to sell and install pine straw.

Sills says the criminals quote a low price before the job, but then demand more money once the project is done.

“They’ll initially say they’ll sell it for $300, then when they get through they demand $2,500,” said Sills.

Shirley Exley and her husband Cordel just added new pine straw to their yard. The couple says they’re thankful that they took on the job themselves, avoiding any chance of getting swindled by a con artist.

“I would have felt sick. I would have literally been sick if I have done that,” Shirley said. 

Sills says he’s already caught two groups of people carrying out the scam, but others are still out there.

“You never know when someone comes and knocks on your door, whether they’re going to be that one scam person coming,” said Shirley

The county is requiring any door-to-door solicitor to have a license in order to filter out any non-trustworthy person of possibly being able to scam you.

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