HCSO advises citizens to report harrassing or threatening calls
Houston County Courier
By Lynda Jones
When people get behind on their bills, they sometimes receive calls and letters from debt collectors. There are state and federal laws regulating what debt collectors can do, and phone harrassment, especially at your place of employment, is not allowed. ABC News recently reported on a scam involving phone harrassment and collecting money from people who did not owe anything. Locally, the Houston County Courier office recently experienced a caller from out-of-state who would call for a person who works in the pressroom part-time. The caller, who identified himself as Simon, was told repeatedly by management that employees are not allowed to take such calls and to not call back. Simon would tie up all the phone lines and became increasingly abusive. Last week, the newspaper notified law enforcement when Simon made a terroristic threat to an employee who answered the phone. He then made a terroristic threat to a Crockett Police officer. The Houston County Sheriff’s Offi ce and the telephone company have traced the phone call and recorded the conversations. HCSO Chief Deputy G. P. Shearer advises anyone who receives threatening or harrassing calls to notify law enforcement. Shearer said law enforcement agencies have tools at their disposal to pursue such criminal activity. In the case at the Courier, offi cials at the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) were contacted by HCSO. He also said that if someone calls and says police will arrest you if you do not send money, call law enforcement. Shearer also cautioned citizens to be aware of email scams and phone scams saying they will receive a large sum of money but must pay money to collect it. It is a case that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t. Shearer said citizens should not respond to such emails. Do not give out personal information to unknown persons. If citizens receive an email saying a friend is in trouble and needs money, call that friend and check on them, Shearer advised. Don’t just send money to an unknown source.