COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Many who work with family court and the Department of Social Services say scams that prey on broken families aren't are not uncommon in South Carolina. And it's the children that end up victimized.
Father of four, Marquis Benjamin knows the weight monthly child support payments can place on a man's shoulders.
"You're sitting there looking at your check saying 'Hey, I got a light bill, water bill, sewer bills," he said.
But many in the same situation who don't pay can sometimes find themselves targeted by aggressive collection companies who misrepresent themselves as state agencies.
"They take a high percentage out of the collection, " said Assistant Director of DSS Child Support Enforcement Glenn Hastie. "It can be as high as 33% of the collection."
Last month, police in Georgia charged three people in a multi-state child support collections scam that took nearly $1 million in payments away from the families who needed them, including some in South Carolina.
"They usually get that information from the custodial parent," said Charles Brown with the Midlands Fatherhood Coalition. "This individual needs the money, and maybe feels our family court system is not doing enough or acting aggressively enough to collect child support."