June 14, 2018 - The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office reports that residents of Montgomery County are receiving scam phone calls again and several have fallen victim to these scammers losing up to $4,000.
Tips to avoid becoming a victim:
If you receive a phone call or e-mail from someone claiming to be a Deputy Sheriff, policeman, lawyer, bounty hunger or court personnel saying they have a warrant for your arrest, verify whom you are speaking with. It is not uncommon for scammers to use the names of real law enforcement officers or leave seemingly real phone numbers for call back in an attempt to gain legitimacy.
Current callers are telling potential victims they are with the Sheriff's Office and that the victim has an outstanding warrant for an unpaid debt, missed jury duty, or some minor infraction and that a fine is due. If successful, the caller will then convince victims to make the payments by wiring it through Western Union, MoneyGram or buying a prepaid credit card (such as Green Dot). The Green Dot cards have been their preferred method of payment and they will direct the victims to Kroger, Rite-Aid, Walgreens, Walmart or other similar stores or pharmacies to purchase the cards.
Signs that a caller may be a scammer:
- Claims that there is a warrant for your arrest. If you really are in trouble with the law, the police will knock on your door or you will receive a certified piece of mail informing you of any legal action that's being taken against you. If you do owe a fine, you will not get a 14-minute notice to pay it over the phone.
- Seeks payment on a debt or loan that you do not recognize.
- Refuses to give you a mailing address or phone number.
- Asks you for personal financial or sensitive information.
- Exerts high pressure to try to scare you into paying, such as threatening to have you arrested or to report you to a law enforcement agency.
Anyone receiving scam calls should call police immediately.