The primary purpose of the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office is to maintain social order within prescribed ethical and constitutional limits, while providing professional and courteous law enforcement services. Our fundamental duties are to serve humanity; to safeguard the lives and properties of our citizens; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation and the peaceful against violence; and to respect the constitutional right of all persons to liberty, equality, and justice. To attain this, the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office enforces the law in a fair and impartial manner, recognizing both the statutory and judicial limits of our authority and the constitutional rights of all persons.
The Lowndes County Sheriff's Office recognizes that no law enforcement agency can operate at its maximum potential without the support of the citizens that we serve. The Lowndes County Sheriff's Office actively solicits and encourages the cooperation of all citizens to reduce and limit the opportunities for crime and to use the resources available to accomplish this goal.
The Lowndes County Sheriff's Office E-Lert is designed to help us communicate better with our citizens. We will periodically be sending out items of interest for the area and news alerts that might affect you.
By subscribing to the E-Lert system, you will receive informational bulletins and alerts of events effecting Lowndes County.
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For more information contact Criminal Investigations Division Lt. Stryde Jones at 229.671.2958.
For the Neighborhood Watch Program contact Sgt. Jim Griffin at 229.671.3125.
Robert Patten Probation Detention Center
Lakeland, GA 31635
Obscene internet contact with child
6314 Pine Lake Circle
Ray City, GA 31645
Gaskins, III, Wallace
233 James Drive
Lake Park, GA 31636
Obscene internet contact with child
Criminal attempt to commit child molestation
Lowndes County Jail
Valdosta, GA 31601
The Lowndes County Sheriff's Office seeks to employ qualified individuals who desire a career in law enforcement, jail operations, or support functions. Jobs are posted, when available, on the county website at www.lowndescounty.com under "Jobs" in the "Quick Links" section.
The Sheriff's Office utilizes the services of the Human Resources Department of the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners for classifying jobs, receiving applications for processing and managing payroll and benefits.
All Sheriff's Office personnel work at the pleasure of the sheriff.
For consideration of employment please follow the steps listed below:
Obtain an application from the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners at 327 North Ashley Street, Valdosta, Georgia OR online here.
The application should be completed and turned in to the Human Resources Department at 327 North Ashley St. Valdosta, Georgia no later than the closing date listed.
Resume's may be attached to the application in lieu of completing section 9, the employment record, providing the resume contains all of the information requested in that section. Resumes are not acceptable in lieu of a completed application. Incomplete or illegible applications will not be considered.
Applications will only be received for the specific job that it posted.
The short answer is that identity theft is a crime. Identity theft and identity fraud are terms used to refer to all types of crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person's personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain. These Web pages are intended to explain why you need to take precautions to protect yourself from identity theft. Unlike your fingerprints, which are unique to you and cannot be given to someone else for their use, your personal data especially your Social Security number, your bank account or credit card number, your telephone calling card number, and other valuable identifying data can be used, if they fall into the wrong hands, to personally profit at your expense. Many people have reported that unauthorized persons have taken funds out of their bank or financial accounts, or, in the worst cases, taken over their identities altogether, running up vast debts and committing crimes while using the victims's names. In many cases, a victim's losses may include not only out-of-pocket financial losses, but substantial additional financial costs associated with trying to restore his reputation in the community and correcting erroneous information for which the criminal is responsible.
In one notorious case of identity theft, the criminal, a convicted felon, not only incurred more than $100,000 of credit card debt, obtained a federal home loan, and bought homes, motorcycles, and handguns in the victim's name, but called his victim to taunt him -- saying that he could continue to pose as the victim for as long as he wanted because identity theft was not a federal crime at that time -- before filing for bankruptcy, also in the victim's name. While the victim and his wife spent more than four years and more than $15,000 of their own money to restore their credit and reputation, the criminal served a brief sentence for making a false statement to procure a firearm, but made no restitution to his victim for any of the harm he had caused. This case, and others like it, prompted Congress in 1998 to create a new federal offense of identity theft.
What Are The Most Common Ways To Commit Identity Theft Or Fraud? [-top-]
Many people do not realize how easily criminals can obtain our personal data without having to break into our homes. In public places, for example, criminals may engage in "shoulder surfing" watching you from a nearby location as you punch in your telephone calling card number or credit card number or listen in on your conversation if you give your credit-card number over the telephone to a hotel or rental car company.
Even the area near your home or office may not be secure. Some criminals engage in "dumpster diving" going through your garbage cans or a communal dumpster or trash bin -- to obtain copies of your checks, credit card or bank statements, or other records that typically bear your name, address, and even your telephone number. These types of records make it easier for criminals to get control over accounts in your name and assume your identity.
If you receive applications for "preapproved" credit cards in the mail, but discard them without tearing up the enclosed materials, criminals may retrieve them and try to activate the cards for their use without your knowledge. (Some credit card companies, when sending credit cards, have adopted security measures that allow a card recipient to activate the card only from his or her home telephone number but this is not yet a universal practice.) Also, if your mail is delivered to a place where others have ready access to it, criminals may simply intercept and redirect your mail to another location.
In recent years, the Internet has become an appealing place for criminals to obtain identifying data, such as passwords or even banking information. In their haste to explore the exciting features of the Internet, many people respond to "spam" unsolicited E-mail that promises them some benefit but requests identifying data, without realizing that in many cases, the requester has no intention of keeping his promise. In some cases, criminals reportedly have used computer technology to obtain large amounts of personal data.
With enough identifying information about an individual, a criminal can take over that individual's identity to conduct a wide range of crimes: for example, false applications for loans and credit cards, fraudulent withdrawals from bank accounts, fraudulent use of telephone calling cards, or obtaining other goods or privileges which the criminal might be denied if he were to use his real name. If the criminal takes steps to ensure that bills for the falsely obtained credit cards, or bank statements showing the unauthorized withdrawals, are sent to an address other than the victim's, the victim may not become aware of what is happing until the criminal has already inflicted substantial damage on the victim's assets, credit, and reputation.
What Can I Do About Identity Theft And Fraud? [-top-]
To victims of identity theft and fraud, the task of correcting incorrect information about their financial or personal status, and trying to restore their good names and reputations, may seem as daunting as trying to solve a puzzle in which some of the pieces are missing and other pieces no longer fit as they once did. Unfortunately, the damage that criminals do in stealing another person's identity and using it to commit fraud often takes far longer to undo than it took the criminal to commit the crimes.
What Should I Do To Avoid Becoming A Victim Of Identity Theft? [-top-]
To reduce or minimize the risk of becoming a victim of identity theft or fraud, there are some basic steps you can take. For starters, just remember the word " SCAM ":
S -Be stingy about giving out your personal information to others unless you have a reason to trust them, regardless of where you are:
Start by adopting a "need to know" approach to your personal data. Your credit card company may need to know your mother's maiden name, so that it can verify your identity when you call to inquire about your account. A person who calls you and says he's from your bank, however, doesn't need to know that information if it's already on file with your bank; the only purpose of such a call is to acquire that information for that person's personal benefit. Also, the more information that you have printed on your personal bank checks -- such as your Social Security number or home telephone number -- the more personal data you are routinely handing out to people who may not need that information.
If someone you don't know calls you on the telephone and offers you the chance to receive a "major" credit card, a prize, or other valuable item, but asks you for personal data -- such as your Social Security number, credit card number or expiration date, or mother's maiden name -- ask them to send you a written application form.
If they won't do it, tell them you're not interested and hang up.
If they will, review the application carefully when you receive it and make sure it's going to a company or financial institution that's well-known and reputable. The Better Business Bureau can give you information about businesses that have been the subject of complaints.
If you're traveling, have your mail held at your local post office, or ask someone you know well and trust another family member, a friend, or a neighbor to collect and hold your mail while you're away.
If you have to telephone someone while you're traveling, and need to pass on personal financial information to the person you're calling, don't do it at an open telephone booth where passersby can listen in on what you're saying; use a telephone booth where you can close the door, or wait until you're at a less public location to call.
C - Check your financial information regularly, and look for what should be there and what shouldn't:
What Should Be There:
If you have bank or credit card accounts, you should be receiving monthly statements that list transactions for the most recent month or reporting period.
If you're not receiving monthly statements for the accounts you know you have, call the financial institution or credit card company immediately and ask about it.
If you're told that your statements are being mailed to another address that you haven't authorized, tell the financial institution or credit card representative immediately that you did not authorize the change of address and that someone may be improperly using your accounts. In that situation, you should also ask for copies of all statements and debit or charge transactions that have occurred since the last statement you received. Obtaining those copies will help you to work with the financial institution or credit card company in determining whether some or all of those debit or charge transactions were fraudulent.<
What should NOT be there:
If someone has gotten your financial data and made unauthorized debits or charges against your financial accounts, checking your monthly statements carefully may be the quickest way for you to find out. Too many of us give those statements, or the enclosed checks or credit transactions, only a quick glance, and don't review them closely to make sure there are no unauthorized withdrawals or charges.
If someone has managed to get access to your mail or other personal data, and opened any credit cards in your name or taken any funds from your bank account, contact your financial institution or credit card company immediately to report those transactions and to request further action.
A - Ask periodically for a copy of your credit report.
Your credit report should list all bank and financial accounts under your name, and will provide other indications of whether someone has wrongfully opened or used any accounts in your name.
M - Maintain careful records of your banking and financial accounts.
Even though financial institutions are required to maintain copies of your checks, debit transactions, and similar transactions for five years, you should retain your monthly statements and checks for at least one year, if not more. If you need to dispute a particular check or transaction especially if they purport to bear your signatures your original records will be more immediately accessible and useful to the institutions that you have contacted.
Even if you take all of these steps, however, it's still possible that you can become a victim of identity theft. Records containing your personal data -- credit-card receipts or car-rental agreements, for example -- may be found by or shared with someone who decides to use your data for fraudulent purposes.
What are Phishing and Web Site Redirection? [-top-]
This type of electronic fraud comes in many forms, and is one of the most popular ways of collecting private information, and money from the masses. Why? Because it is simple to do and very effective.
If you receive an e-mail from your bank, credit card company, or other online merchant like, Ebay.com or Amazon.com, requesting information such as passwords and financial info, delete it and report it immediately. Many of these e-mails link you to web sites that look exactly like that of the real company but are in fact fakes. Take a look at Ebay's Online Security and Protection section to get an idea of what you need to do in order to identify scams like these.
If you receive an e-mail from someone promising you millions of dollars if you assist them with their finances, delete it immediately!. Some of these scams have been running for years and new ones surface frequently. Recently one supposedly from the wife of the late Yasser Arafat, promising millions of dollars if someone would help her establish a trust fund in the US. The reasons these types of e-mail scams are so wide spread is because they are highly effective and relatively easy to do. Thousands of people get ripped off by these scams every day. To see examples of several recent scams, take a look at the following Phishing Scams Website.
What Should I Do To Help Prevent Credit Card Fraud? [-top-]
Never place your credit card face up when paying for something. Many people will simply place their credit card on the table, face up, when paying for a meal, for instance. In the time it takes for the server to pick up your check, someone walking by can visually scan your card for everything they need to go on an Internet shopping spree. There are thieves that specialize in this type of fraud.
When paying for something, particularly at a restaurant, check to see if the full or partial credit card number is on the merchant receipt. In most cases, only the partial number is visible. However, when the full number is there, cross out all but the last four digits with a pen. The merchant has already scanned the card at this point, they should not need a paper backup of the number.
If your credit card is stolen, lost, or used fraudulently, you can call your card company and speak with the fraud department. However, it's recommend you contact your card company's credit line department first. This is the department that can extend your credit almost instantaneously. They can also decrease it within seconds as well. If you have a limit of $5,000, they can reduce it to $100 immediately, then pass you to the fraud department. Call your card company and request the direct number to this department and make a record of it.
If you notice someone swiping your card more than once when paying for an item, ask them why. Regardless of how sensible the answer is, call your card company and request a list of the last few transactions, you might be surprised what you find.
If your card company sends you checks to use for cash advancements and you don't plan on using them, don't keep them around, shred them immediately. We get these all the time in the mail. As far as shredders go, everyone should have one. You can pick up a small one for under $30 and it is well worth the investment.
Any statements or correspondence you have regarding your credit cards should be in a secure place or shredded.
What Should I Do If I've Become A Victim Of Identity Theft? [-top-]
If you think you've become a victim of identity theft or fraud, act immediately to minimize the damage to your personal funds and financial accounts, as well as your reputation. Here's a list of some actions that you should take right away:
Contact the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office in order to have a police report filed at 229-245-5270.
Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to report the situation, whether Online,
by telephone toll-free at 1-877-ID THEFT (877-438-4338) or TDD at 202-326-2502, or
by mail to Consumer Response Center, FTC, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580.
You may also need to contact other agencies for other types of identity theft:
Your local office of the Postal Inspection Service if you suspect that an identity thief has submitted a change-of-address form with the Post Office to redirect your mail, or has used the mail to commit frauds involving your identity;
To report fraud, call (800) 680-7289 or write to P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92634.
To order a copy of your credit report ($8 in most states), write to P.O. Box 390, Springfield, PA 19064 or call: (800) 888-4213.
To dispute information in your report, call the phone number provided on your credit report.
To opt out of pre-approved offers of credit and marketing lists, call (800) 680-7293 or (888) 5OPTOUT or write to P.O Box 97328, Jackson, MS 39238.
Contact all creditors with whom your name or identifying data have been fraudulently used. For example, you may need to contact your long-distance telephone company if your long-distance calling card has been stolen or you find fraudulent charges on your bill.
Contact all financial institutions where you have accounts that an identity thief has taken over or that have been created in your name but without your knowledge. You may need to cancel those accounts, place stop-payment orders on any outstanding checks that may not have cleared, and change your Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card, account, and Personal Identification Number (PIN).
Contact the major check verification companies if you have had checks stolen or bank accounts set up by an identity thief. In particular, if you know that a particular merchant has received a check stolen from you, contact the verification company that the merchant uses:
Where Can I Find Out More About Identity Theft And Fraud? [-top-]
A number of government and private organizations have information about various aspects of identity theft and fraud: how it can occur, what you can do about it, and how to guard your privacy. To help you learn more about the problem and its solutions, below is a list of web sites that you might find interesting and informative on identity theft and related topics.
One of the best ways to protect yourself from idenity fraud and idenity theft is to ask questions. Primarily, ask yourself whether or not the particular situation you are faced with makes sense? Why would your bank request information from you via e-mail? Why would someone in another country be willing to give you millions of dollars to assist them with their banking woes? Use common sense.
There is a certain percentage of our population who have absolutely no morality when it comes to the acquisition of wealth. These people know the risk of getting caught is minimal. In many cases, even if they do get caught, they are willing to deal with the consequences given the potential monetary payoff. Stay vigilant and educate yourself on these matters. It really is the best way to protect yourself against the myriad of threats and risks we are presented with everyday.
The Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the murder of Stephon Edgerton that occurred on Friday, January 20, 2012. Edgerton was an employee of the WGOV-FM as on air personality Juan Gatti. As he left the station on that evening an unknown person shot him. Public Alert Flyer