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Monroe County Cyber Crime Unit busy

Reported by: Susan Parker
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Updated: 5/17/2013 7:53 pm
HAMILTON, Miss. (WTVA) -- Monroe County Sheriff's Department criminal investigators have additional duties these days.

Six weeks ago, the Cyber Crimes Unit was created and they have their work cut out for them.

Scams are among their areas of interest.

"We've had a lot of people and not only elderly, but other people that have actually sent them quite a bit of money and we're asking the general public not to do that. It's a scam. Do not do it," Monroe County Sheriff Cecil Cantrell said.

Tim and Phyllis Carter could have fallen victim to a scam that took place just Friday morning.

Tim Carter received a phone call.

He was told he was the winner of $2.5 million. All he had to do to claim the money was to go to Walmart and purchase a card to wire $500.

Carter called the Monroe County Sheriff's Department.

"I gave them the phone number of the people that called me and they checked it out and found it be people in foreign countries trying to rip us off," Carter said.

"My biggest fear is these people that answer their phone and don't really think about it being a scam. It's sad because they can scam money out of their bank account and they never know what happens," Phyllis Carter said.

"These individuals are in another country and we don't have jurisdiction there to be able to go and get any of their money back or to even prosecute them," Investigator John Michael Lay said.

"It's bad especially your elderly people because most of them are on a fixed income and they will send all they've got," Investigator Rodney Starling said.

The Cyber Crimes Unit continues to make progress detecting scams but their work carries them into other areas. Cyber crimes include stalking, enticement of a minor and harassment.

"Everything from harassing somebody on Facebook and sending harassing text messages on a smart phone is considered a cyber crime," Lay added.

It shows no sign of slowing down.

"It's increasing just as quickly as the criminal increases. Just as much as the criminal evolves the cyber crime evolves," Lay said.

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