CHRISTIAN COUNTY, Ky. (WKRN) – Tracking and preventing scams is a never-ending process, and in Christian County, Kentucky, the sheriff’s department has found a unique way to help protect its residents.
Scam artists don’t discriminate on age, gender or location. So while residents in Christian County might not think they’re big targets for scammers all over the world, it turns out, they’re the perfect choice.
“They prey on those types of people, they prey on our desire to get rich quick and they prey on our desire for free money,” explained Captain Chris Miller with the Christian County Sheriff’s Department.
Deputies know this all too well, by the calls they constantly get from victims.
“As we are sitting here talking, people are coming up with new scams to try and take our money,” Captain Miller said.
Another frustrating part about scams, the perpetrators are typically not in the United States, which makes it nearly impossible to prosecute them.
So detectives came to a realization.
“Knowledge is power, give people the info to know what they are looking for so they don’t become victims,” Miller said.
To spread the good word, Captain Miller took his message to social media.
“This info needs to be out now,” he told News 2. “It needs to be out to the people so they don’t become victims. That’s one of the reasons we like the social media aspect.”
Captain Miller is typically a boots-on-the-ground type guy, but it would seem he’s found his calling: on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Miller is the star of the department’s social media videos – even going into full-on news anchor mode, and he’s a natural.
The episodes are shot in his office and the topics vary, depending on the scam of the day.
“We get a lot of comments about the one about the IRS, for example,” he explained. “People say, ‘Oh I get calls from those people three times a day!’ You get comments that just start rolling.”
It’s a serious issue, but sometimes deputies like to have a little fun with the scammers.
“We have a detective that really enjoys calling these guys and giving them a hard time. We know it’s overseas but we like to mess with them a little bit,” said Captain Miller.
The prank calls are all in good fun, but the social media videos do really well.One video where a detective called a scammer pretending to be with the IRS received more than 9,000 views.
Seeing a video go viral is nice, but what really matters to deputies, is making sure people know what’s real and what’s not.
“You don’t really know if it’s working because all you can tell is the people who don’t get scammed and those who don’t get reported to us. I do feel like it’s working though and the messages get out there.”
If the number of comments, shares and likes are any indication, people are watching.
It may seem like a millennial method to some, but if it reaches just one potential victim, to Captain Miller, that’s a success.
Click here to follow the Christian County Sheriff’s Department’s Facebook page.