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T-Shirt Scams Sweep Across Multiple States

Call it a sign of the times we’re living in.

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Go to Google, query “T-shirt scam,” and prepare to be amazed by the long and growing list of local media reports covering this fraud du jour.

Like flesh-eating bacteria, the swindlers behind these texting and social media scams keep adapting for their survival. They’re turning the page on debt consolidation rackets, phony car insurance quotes, and fake IRS shakedowns so they can sucker you with something more trifling: T-shirts that don’t exist.

Reports of these scams appear most often in the southeastern part of the country, from North Carolina down to Florida. Dig around some more and you’ll find they reach into multiple states in the Northeast and Midwest.

The perpetrators’ MO is to impersonate a representative of a local police or fire department and message you with an offer for a discounted T-shirt that uses the department’s logo. Other grifters have even less shame, like the one who posted in a South Carolina Facebook community asking people to buy a shirt designed by his autistic son.

Dozens of police agencies in the aforementioned regions have issued warnings to not click on the links within the messages, as well as reminders that they do not solicit the public using anyone’s personal information.

So what can you do to slow these scammers’ rolls? If there’s a reported scam in your area, consider spreading the word with your company socials.

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Beyond that, unfortunately, good society is mostly without recourse. That leaves us hoping the long arm of the law will catch up with these miscreants – a position that Americans have been uncomfortably holding since crime began surging with pandemic’s onset. Regardless, apprehension or no, the T-shirt scammers can go down among our present time’s least impressive people.

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