According to the North Carolina Department of Justice, scammers are using phony but real-looking emails to try to steal thousands of dollars from North Carolina churches. A church in central North Carolina nearly fell victim to this scam recently, and other churches in the state have also reported the scam to their bank.
This is how the scam works: An employee of the church’s finance office receives the email, which appears to be sent by the pastor or another high-level person at the church. The message instructs the employee to send thousands of dollars, via bank-to-bank wire transfer, to handle an “urgent and confidential” situation. The employee is a victim of spoofing, a scamming technique where the crook hijacks someone’s email account and pretends to be that person while sending and receiving a series of messages.
This scam has targeted businesses in the past but the focus on churches is a new twist.
To avoid this scam the Department of Justice suggests you do the following: Set a strict office policy for wire transfers. Remember that money wired away is usually gone for good. Warn employees about this scam.
If you believe you, your church, business or an employee has been approached by a scammer, report it to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or file a complaint at www.ncdoj.gov.
A suspect is being sought in Caldwell County and the public's assistance is being sought. Lenoir Caldwell Crime Stoppers issued a news release earlier this week asking for citizens' assistance in finding 22-year-old Russell Monroe Dunne.
Dunn is Wanted for interfering with his electronic monitoring device. If you know where to find this suspect, call Sgt. C.J, Bentley with the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office at 828-758-2324. You can also call Lenoir Caldwell Crime Stoppers at 828-758-8300. You could receive a cash reward.
In addition, if you have any information regarding any crimes that have occurred in Caldwell County, you can contact Crime Stoppers any time. When reporting a tip to Lenoir-Caldwell County Crime Stoppers You do not have to reveal your name. Crime Stoppers is a community program operated by citizens of Caldwell County which involves the public assisting law enforcement. Again that number is 828-758-8300.
19-year-old Bridget Anne Bessette of George Pitts Road in Hickory was arrested Wednesday (March 9) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with felony common law robbery. Bessette was incarcerated in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $25,000 bond, a District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Thursday, March 10).
31-year-old Kelly Maddy Wood who is listed as a homeless person from Hickory was arrested Wednesday (March 9) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with felony counts of possession of heroin and possession of methamphetamine, along with a misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia. Wood was locked up in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $23,000 bond. a District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Thursday, March 10).
Two suspects reportedly apprehended near where someone attempted to bury a body in Alexander County are in custody and they have been charged with murder.
51-year-old Toni Anthony Hearne of Charlotte and 33-year-old Linsey Marie Lentz of Albemarle were arrested Wednesday (March 9) by Alexander County Sheriff's Officers. They're each charged with murder and concealing or failing to report a death.
The body of the victim, a black male, was found Wednesday afternoon in the Ellendale Community, which is west of Taylorsville. Alexander County 911 got a call about a suspicious vehicle shortly after 12 noon on Wednesday. When deputies responded they found a vehicle stuck at 6045 Highway 64-90 west. Deputies noticed an area where it appeared something had been dragged into a wooded area.
A Sheriff’s Lieutenant found a body of a male behind an abandoned house in a wooded area partially buried under leaves and sticks. As a precaution, Ellendale Elementary School, which is less than a half mile from the crime scene was placed on soft lock down. A helicopter searched the area along with a K9 unit and several officers. No additional suspects were found by authorities.
Students at the Elementary School were dismissed per normal procedure. The victim has been identified as Robert Adam Hearne Jr. It is still unclear as to a motive or circumstances that occurred prior to the death. The investigation is continuing and more details will be released as they develop. Both suspects are being held under no bond, they're both scheduled to appear in District Court next Monday, March 14.
48-year-old Charles Douglas Franklin of Happy Acres Drive in Statesville has been arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers on one felony count of first-degree sex offense with a child.
He was arrested after the Iredell Co. Department of Social Services filed a report involving the sexual abuse of a five-year-old child by a family member in western Iredell County. The incidents allegedly occurred from January to November of last year. The case was assigned to Detective C.M. Benfield with the Sheriff’s Special Victims Unit. The child was interviewed at the Dove House Children’s Advocacy Center. During the interview, the child said she had been sexually assaulted by Charles Douglas Franklin. Det. Benfield obtained statements from additional witnesses and gathered information from Social Services.
Following his arrest, Franklin was placed in the Iredell County Detention Center under a $100,000 secured bond. He’ll appear in District Court on March 22.
42-year-old Tommy Shane Carson of Odell Road in Statesville was arrested late last month by Iredell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with Possession with intent to sell or deliver Marijuana, Felony Possession of Marijuana, Maintaining a Dwelling for the Sale of a Controlled Substance, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
On February 25 at 4:40 p.m. Officers with the Aggressive Criminal Enforcement (A.C.E) Team along with members of the Warrant Squad went to 168 Odell Road in an attempt to locate a person with several outstanding violent felony warrants for his arrest.
When deputies entered the residence they could smell a strong odor of marijuana. Deputies searched the residence and found 171.5 grams of high grade marijuana hidden in one of the bedrooms. The occupant of the bedroom Tommy Carson, admitted that the marijuana was his.
Following the arrest, bond for Carson was set at $5,000 secured. A District Court appearance is scheduled for March 28.
A Caldwell County man pleaded guilty to two separate offenses in Caldwell County Superior Court last Thursday (March 3), and was sentenced to serve at least five years in prison.
26-year-old Devin Isaiah Boyce of Lenoir entered guilty pleas to assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and trafficking opium or heroin. The Honorable Robert C. Ervin, Superior Court Judge from Burke County, issued an active prison sentence of 5 to 7 years for Boyce, who will serve his incarceration period in custody of the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections.
The assault with a deadly weapon charge stemmed from a November 2011 incident when Boyce attempted to break in to an apartment on Ridge Street in Lenoir and shot the victim in the leg. The victim’s girlfriend, who also was at the scene, identified Boyce as the person attempting to break in.
Boyce also pleaded guilty to a charge of trafficking by possession from December 2015. That offense came when officers found the drugs during a search at Boyce’s residence as he tried to conceal them. In addition to prison time, the conviction carries a mandatory fine of $50,000.
Sherry Beavers and Patrick Moser investigated the cases for Lenoir Police Department. Andrew Jennings was the prosecutor for the District Attorney’s Office.
39-year-old Tracy Lamont Williams of 3rd Street Lane S.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 8:40 last night (March 8) on one felony count of obtaining property by false pretense.
He was arrested in connection to an incident on October 29, 2015 at Ollie’s Bargain Outlet on Highway 70 S.E. in Hickory. Williams allegedly entered the store carrying two items that were believed to have been stolen from another Ollie’s store. He selected two other items from the shelves and then returned all four items in exchange for a gift card.
During the exchange process, Williams gave a false name that was similar to his own. Through their investigation, Police connected the false name to the suspect. A warrant for his arrest was issued on March 4.
Williams was taken into custody without incident yesterday at a residence on 2nd Street S.W. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $1,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for today in Newton.
Hickory Police were among those responding to a three-vehicle accident this morning on Highway 321 N.W., near Arby’s and the bridge over Lake Hickory. The incident occurred at approximately 8:30 a.m. E.M.S. was called to the scene.
No further details are available at this time.