Pawn Shop reports phone cloning scam


Pawn South in Whiteville sells a wide variety of merchandise – but they don’t see medical equipment.

Store manager Houston Barnes contacted police Thursday to report a possible phone scam. Employees at the store have been receiving reports of senior citizens being called by someone using one of the store numbers, 640-3318. The caller asks questions about medical equipment and supplies, and tries to get personal information from the victim.

“We sell a lot of everything, but we don’t sell medical equipment, and we don’t call people to sell anything,” an employee said.

Telephone criminals often use a computer program to block the identity of their real number, usually by using a local number picked at random.

District Attorney Jon David said Wednesday that such crimes are difficult to prosecute, since the offender could be in another state or around the world.

“The emphasis has got to be on prevention, especially for the elderly,” he said. “These predators go after senior citizens who might be lovely or vulnerable, and are happy to talk to someone. You should never give out personal information of any kind to someone who calls you, unless you have verified that they are legitimate.”