- Cullman, Alabama

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March 17, 2014

Police warn against giving out private information

CULLMAN — Cullman resident Odom Hawkins said he was recently avoided a phone scam, and encourages others to be smart when it comes to giving out personal information.

The 81-year-old said he received a phone call from a number he didn’t recognize and the caller asked for his personal information in order to fix a virus on his computer that related to the Internet. Hawkins said he wasn’t an Internet user which made him realize the potential of a scam.

“He had a foreign accent and my Caller ID said he was calling from the State of Washington,” Hawkins said. “I couldn’t understand a lot of what he was saying, a lot of young folks today talk really fast. He could have given me a name, but I never did understand it, so I don’t remember it. I knew that it was a scam because I don’t use the Internet.”

Although Hawkins didn’t provide his information over the phone, many others are subjected to similar calls in which they do give information, often involving bank account numbers.

Cullman city assistant police chief Craig Green said local law enforcement members continually warn the community about scams that often involve technology, specifically phone scams.

“We do not encourage anyone to give information out over the telephone, these callers often target the older population who seem to be more trusting,” Green said. “If you give your personal information out over the phone to someone you do not know and to a number you don’t recognize, you’re risking giving someone access to your bank account and other personal information.”

Green said getting a victim’s money back is difficult.

To report scams, contact Cullman investigation at 256- 734-2868.

Lauren Estes can be reached at or 256-734-2131, ext. 137.

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