The North Carolina Department of Justice warns citizens about a scam connected to a very popular game, and has some tips to avoid flim-flams conducted via e-mail.
The new mobile game Pokémon Go has attracted millions of excited new users, but unfortunately scammers aren’t far behind. According to the NCDOJ, a new scam is out to trick Pokémon Go users into giving up their personal information and paying money to play the game that’s actually free. If you’re trying to catch ‘em all, make sure you know how to avoid Pokémon Go subscription scams. And this Pokémon Go scam has also prompted the DOJ to offer tips to avoid all e-mail flim-flams.
The scam begins with a phony email claiming that because of a record-breaking number of users, game developer Niantic has begun charging players $12.99 per month to play Pokémon Go. The email claims that anyone who doesn’t pay the upgrade fee immediately will have their game accounts frozen within one day. Concerned users who click the upgrade link are asked to provide their email login credentials, giving the scammers access to information in their email accounts that can be used for identity theft.
The North Carolina Department of Justice has the following tips to avoid being taken in by this or any other e-mail scams.
Don’t be fooled by logos, websites, or links that seem like the real thing. Many scam emails use real company’s logos to seem authentic. Past phishing emails have claimed to come from major companies like Paypal, eBay, banks, credit card companies, non-profits, charities, and even government agencies like the IRS.
Report phony emails to the legitimate business directly. Contact the company using a telephone number or web address you know to be right, not using the contact information in the phishing email. Also, forward the entire email to the Federal Trade Commission at email@example.com.
Never share your personal or financial information by email. Be wary of any email that asks you to key in login credentials to one of your personal email or financial accounts. Instead, use legitimate, secure login websites to access your accounts, not links included in questionable emails.
If you receive one of these phony emails, report it to the Attorney General’s Office at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or online at ncdoj.gov.
A suspect in a kidnapping and assault is being sought by authorities. The wanted man is a Stanley resident, he's been charged but has not been arrested in connection with the kidnapping and assault of an ex-girlfriend who lives on Cowan’s Ford Road off Highway 73.
Last Saturday (July 16) deputies were dispatched to the Cowan’s Ford Overlook after a passing motorist reported a male was assaulting a female at that location. The motorist told officers he was driving past the Overlook when he spotted a female in distress. The female was screaming and waving her arms as a male subject was screaming at her. The male then ran to the edge of the hill at the overlook and disappeared over the edge.
The victim, identified as 22-year-old Kaitlin Victoria Greene, told officers she was at her residence on Cowan’s Ford Road when she heard a knock at the door. She partially opened the door and her ex-boyfriend, 21-year-old Jacob Allen Houser, of Hines Circle Road in Stanley, forced his way into the residence.
The victim said Houser grabbed her by the throat, dragged her out of the residence and into his pickup truck. He drove her to the Cowan’s Ford Overlook. He then pulled her out of the truck and toward the water. She began to scream and that drew the attention of the passing motorist.
Houser then ran to the edge of the overlook as officers from the Huntersville Police Department and Charlotte Mecklenburg Police arrived on the scene. CMPD called in a K-9 unit to assist in the search for the man but they were unable to locate him. The victim was transported to CHS-Lincoln for treatment.
Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Detective Lt. Matt Lykins and Detective Justin Link have charged Houser with one felony count each of 2nd degree kidnapping, first degree burglary of an occupied dwelling, and assault by strangulation inflicting physical injury. He is also charged with one misdemeanor count each of interfering with emergency communications and driving while license revoked. Houser is also wanted in Mecklenburg County for failure to appear.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Jacob Allen Houser is asked to contact the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at 704-732-9050 or the Lincoln County Communications Center at 704-735-8202.
DAE Systems (Dynamic Air Engineering, Inc.) announced today (July 18) that it will fully relocate all operations, including its headquarters, research & development and product manufacturing, from California to a speculative manufacturing facility in the Claremont International Business Park at 2436 Penny Road. DAE Systems has committed to invest a minimum of $7,255,000 on acquisition and completion of the facility and the installation of machinery and equipment.
Founded in 1942, the family-owned company (now in its third generation) plans to create a minimum of 53 new jobs over a five-year period. The average wage for the new jobs will exceed the county’s average wage.
DAE Systems is an aviation parts manufacturing company that serves the commercial aerospace and defense markets with engineered products.
Today’s announcement was made possible, in part, by a One North Carolina Fund grant of $110,000. Local incentives will be based on job creation and investment performance standards. Those standards will be considered in an upcoming public session by local governing boards.
22-year-old James William Canipe III of White Oak Farm Road in Cherryville was arrested by Hickory Police early this morning (July 18) on outstanding warrants for failure to appear, one felony counts and four misdemeanors. He was also charged with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.
He was arrested when Officers in the area of Highway 70 S.E. and South Center Street spotted a white Ford F-250 pick-up truck with an expired registration tag. Police pulled the truck in the parking lot at McDonalds on Highway 70. The license tag came back to Honda Civic.
Four people were in the truck. The rear driver’s side passenger was James Canipe. Officers found a purple bag in the area where Canipe was sitting. In the bag was a glass pipe with a white powder residue and a North Carolina driver’s license under a false name.
When Police confirmed Canipe’s true identity, they found the outstanding warrants for his arrest. The charges connected to the failure to appear warrants include larceny of a firearm and a number of vehicular offenses.
Following his arrest, Canipe was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $15,000 secured bond. District Court appearances were scheduled for August 4 and August 19 in Newton.
28-year-old Randall Lee Yount of Burnhurs Lane in Lincolnton was arrested Sunday (July 17) in Caldwell County on charges from Lincoln County. Yount is charged with felony counts of breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering, and possession of stolen goods or property. Yount was confined in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $5,000 secured bond. A Superior Court appearance is scheduled for next Monday (July 25).
44-year-old Brian Kelly Ferguson of Rankin Street in Lenoir was arrested Sunday (July 17) by Lenoir Police Officers. He's charged with assault on a female and possession of methamphetamine. Ferguson was locked up in the Caldwell County Detention Center under no bond on the assault charge and $15,000 secured bond on the meth charge. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Monday, July 18).
20-year-old Nicole Shantae Outen of 1st Street S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 5:20 p.m. Friday (June 15) on one felony possession of cocaine and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia. Outen was taken into custody without incident at her residence. She was given a $1,000 unsecured bond, and was released on Friday. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (June 18) in Newton.
47-year-old Ralph Preston Wolfe, Jr., who is listed as a homeless person from Hickory, was arrested by Hickory Police at 9:20 p.m. Friday (July 15) on one felony count of habitual misdemeanor assault. He also faces one count of misdemeanor assault and two misdemeanor probation violations.
This was Wolfe’s third arrest in connection to an incident on March 17 of this year. At that time, Police responded to a homeless camp on the 3000 block of 34th Street Drive N.E. where Wolfe allegedly assaulted a 36-year-old Hickory woman. E.M.S. was called to the scene, but both the victim and the suspect refused treatment.
Wolfe was previously arrested on March 18 and March 23. According to Police reports, he resisted arrest Friday as he was again taken into custody on the 3000 block of 34th Street Drive N.E. The suspect refused to be photographed or fingerprinted as he was processed at H.P.D. headquarters. Wolfe was confined in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $21,500, secured. District and Superior Court appearances were scheduled today (July 18) in Newton, with additional District Court dates coming up on August 9 and September 14.
27-year-old Christopher Michael Johnson of 8th Street Place S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at 11 o’clock Friday night on one felony count of conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon and one misdemeanor count of assault on a government official. He was also charged with misdemeanor and felony probation violations. The warrants for his arrest were issued on June 9 and June 16.
Johnson was taken into custody without incident at his residence. He was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility without bond on the felony charges. Bond on the misdemeanor charges was set at $30,000, secured. He will appear in District Court on July 18 and in Superior Court on August 25, both in Newton.
31-year-old Andrew James Kemp of West 19th Street in Newton was arrested Sunday (July 17) by Newton Police Officers. He's charged with felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Kemp was incarcerated in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $9,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Monday, July 18).
47-year-old John Christopher Gatton of Statesville, 30-year-old Dustin Alan Belcher of Harmony, and 28-year-old Christina Magan Wyatt of Statesville, were all arrested by Iredell County Sheriff's Officers. Charges against the suspects include breaking and entering to a building, larceny after breaking and entering, breaking and entering to a motor vehicle, larceny, and possession of a firearm by a felon.
Beginning on June 10 2016, Iredell County Sheriff’s Office Deputies responded to the area of Seedhouse Road in Statesville in reference to a breaking and entering to a residence. It was reported in that incident that the suspect(s) entered the home and stole prescription medication, a firearm, and electronics. In the weeks that followed Sheriff’s Office Deputies responded to several other residences where similar crimes were reported.
It was determined early on by Detectives the crimes were related based on several factors including the method of entry and items stolen. In addition the suspect was isolated to the East Iredell area because soon after the first break-in was discovered in the eastern part of the county similar crimes were discovered on the west side of the county. Witness statements resulted in the identification of a vehicle that was seen in the areas the crimes were committed.
On Saturday July 2, Deputies were called to the area of Society Road where the home owner discovered a break-in in progress when he arrived at the residence. The homeowner reported that the suspect stole jewelry, electronics and tools. The homeowner was able to provide a description of both the suspect and the suspect’s vehicle.
The information matched the description of John Christopher Gatton who had been identified as a suspect in another break-in that occurred prior to Society Road. Detectives had been trying to locate and question Gatton, but he was already on the run for a parole violation and had no known address. Based on the totality of all the information Detectives drew additional warrants on Gatton for breaking and entering and larceny.
An intensive search began for Gatton which included locating any known friends or associates. During this part of the investigation Detectives identified Dustin Alan Belcher as a subject who was with Gatton on one or more of the home break-ins. Belcher was located and arrested for his part in the break in’s.
In addition Christina Magan Wyatt was also found to be a person who participated in Gatton’s crime spree. It was determined that she assisted in one of the break in’s and took part in trading the stolen goods for drugs. She was also arrested and charged with her part in the crimes and faces additional charges for Identity Theft and Providing False Information to a Law Enforcement Officer.
On July 6 Detectives gathered information indicating that Gatton had left Iredell County and was possibly in Mt. Holly. On July 7 Detectives learned that Gatton was in an area on Windermere Road in Mt. Holly. Iredell County Detectives drove to the area of Windermere Rd, and located an address where Gatton had been staying. With the assistance of the Gaston County Police Department John Christopher Gatton was arrested without incident. At the time of his latest arrest Gatton was on Parole for Habitual Felon. Gatton is now suspected of committing over 60 felony offenses since his release from custody less than six months ago.
Gatton is currently in custody under no bond for the parole violation and $225,000 for the new offenses. He's scheduled to appear in District Court next Monday (July 25). Belcher's bond was set at $20,000 secured, his District Court date is July 26. Wyatt, who was also on parole, was jailed under no bond for the parole violation and an additional $50,000 secured bond for the new charges. She's scheduled to appear in District Court August 2.
The investigation is ongoing and there will likely be additional arrests made. Anyone with information concerning these case is asked to call the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division.
Four suspects have been arrested by Lincoln County Sheriff's Officers as a result of drug investigations and a fifth suspect was being sought by authorities. All five suspects are Lincolnton residents.
36-year-old Travis Shane Bivens of Pete’s Road was arrested Friday (July 15) and charged with two felony counts each of sell and deliver schedule II controlled substance and possession with intent to sell and deliver schedule II controlled substance. He's also charged with one felony count of failure to appear and one misdemeanor count of failure to appear.
48-year-old Barry Allen Osborne of North Grove Street was arrested Friday and charged with one felony count each of trafficking opiates by possession, possession with the intent to manufacture a controlled substance, sell and deliver a controlled substance, maintaining a dwelling or vehicle for a controlled substance and possession with intent to sell and deliver schedule II controlled substance.
49-year-old John Lee Warren of Lithia Inn Road was charged with one felony count each of sell and deliver schedule II controlled substance and possession with intent to sell and deliver schedule II controlled substance.
34-year-old Jennifer Hayes Johnson of Sun Valley Trail was arrested July 11 and charged with one felony count of possession of schedule II controlled substance. She was jailed under a $3,000 secured bond.
The fifth subject has been charged but detectives have been unable to locate him. 43-year-old Robert Wayne Ellis of South Industrial Park Road has three outstanding warrants for his arrest. The charges include one felony count each of sell and deliver a counterfeit controlled substance and possession with intent to sell and deliver a counterfeit controlled substance. He also faces two misdemeanor counts each of communicating threats and probation violation.
The charges stem from multiple investigations into drug activity where offenders possessed, sold, and distributed drugs.
According to narcotics detectives, surveillance and undercover techniques were used to catch the offenders. Detectives say this is a continuation from a larger investigation that targets methamphetamine, heroin, and opiate street level dealers.
Bivens bond was set at $120,000 secured. Osborne received a $72,000 secured bond. Warren's bond was set at $8,000 secured. Johnson was jailed under a $3,000 secured bond. All four suspects were scheduled to appear in District Court today (Monday, July 18).
29-year-old Deveion Eugene Johnson of 14th Avenue NE in Hickory was arrested Friday (July 15) in Caldwell County on charges from Catawba County. Johnson is charged with felony counts of possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana, maintaining a vehicle, dwelling, or place to keep controlled substance, possession of a firearm by a felon, breaking and entering, larceny of a firearm, and possession of a stolen firearm. Johnson was detained in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $50,000 secured bond. He's scheduled to appear in Superior Court next Monday (July 25).
37-year-old Shane Lee Huffman of Campground View Road in Catawba was arrested Saturday (July 16) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony counts of second degree kidnapping and common law robbery. Huffman was incarcerated in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $114,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Monday, July 18).