Sheriff Clinton offers tips to avoid Holiday fraud

Sheriff's Desk
Sheriff Chris Clinton Towns County GA

From the Desk of Sheriff Christopher M. Clinton

Towns County, Ga.


This week, as we celebrate Thanksgiving, most of us will enjoy the time with family and friends or take part in some tradition. Many are already planning their Christmas shopping. While stores and consumers alike are getting ready for a busy season of shopping, criminals are planning to take advantage of unwary consumers.

Each year criminals and unscrupulous companies, many of them outside the United States, take advantage of consumers through the use of Internet fraud. In an effort to keep you safe we offer for your consideration the following guidelines suggested by the FBI to help you avoid becoming a victim:

• Only purchase merchandise from reputable dealers or establishments.

• Try to obtain a physical address rather than merely a post office box and a phone number; call the seller to see if the number is correct and working.

• Send them an e-mail to see if they have an active e-mail address and be wary of those that utilize free e-mail services where a credit card wasn’t required to open the account.

• Consider not purchasing from sellers who won’t provide you with this type of information.

• Purchase merchandise directly from the individual/company that holds the trademark, copyright, or patent.

• Beware when responding to e-mail that may not have been sent by a reputable company.

• Guard your account information carefully. Don’t give out your credit card number(s) online unless the site is a secure and reputable site. Sometimes a tiny icon of a padlock appears to symbolize a higher level of security to transmit data. This icon is not a guarantee of a secure site, but might provide you some assurance.

We at the Towns County Sheriff’s Office are thankful for the opportunity to serve our citizens. As we all pause to give thanks this year, consider helping a child less fortunate by becoming a partner in the Sheriff’s Empty Stocking Fund. This annual project provides Christmas toys for Towns County children who otherwise would not receive gifts due to financial hardships.

Each year we hold the Sheriff’s Christmas Parade to benefit the Sheriff’s Empty Stocking Fund. Participants are asked to bring a new unwrapped toy for a boy or girl. The parade this year will be held Nov. 25, 2017, and will start at 5:30 p.m. The parade will travel from the Georgia Mountain Fair to McConnell Memorial Baptist Church in Hiawassee. Participants are encouraged to be at the fairgrounds at 4 p.m. for parade line up.

If you would like to help a child in need by donating toys or making a financial contribution, you may do so at either the Towns County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center and Administrative Offices, located at 4070 State Hwy 339, Young Harris, GA or at the Towns County Sheriff’s Office located in the Towns County Courthouse, at 48 River Street, Hiawassee, GA.


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