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Fraud cases in county concerning

By Eddie West

Staff Writer

Residents need to remain vigilant to protect themselves from becoming victims of fraud.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) recently released crime data for individual counties in Tennessee.

The number of fraud cases occurring in Smith County is a significant concern for Fifteenth Judicial District Attorney General Jason Lawson.

Last year, there were 26 fraud cases reported in Smith County, compared to 27 in 2021, according to the TBI report.

Lawson noted “the most disturbing trend (revealed by the TBI statistics) was fraud crime cases remain constant”.

“The fraud numbers remain way too high,”  Lawson said after reviewing TBI data. “This crime is particularly difficult to apprehend and prosecute because many of the persons committing these crimes are not based in the United States, which makes solving the crime and prosecuting the individuals extremely difficult.”

Lawson said the key to avoiding and reducing this crime is for victims to engage in protecting themselves. 

“People should not trust any unsolicited contact, whether by telephone or email or text. If people want to verify that a situation is real, they should get a telephone number from a completely independent source and make the call themselves to verify the legitimacy. Scammers are after money, gift cards, or personal information.  And never trust a telephone number or website link provided by the person who contacted them first,” Lawson said.

Still, Lawson has hope. 


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