The Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents of an old-school phone scam rearing its ugly head again around the area.
Vanderburgh County Residents Receiving Calls from Imposter Deputies
I’ve always thought that if the people behind these types of phone scams, and others, would apply the ingenuity and creativeness it takes to create these scams toward something more positive and beneficial for society as a whole, the world would be in a much better place. But, they don’t. Maybe that’s due to the fact that scamming people out of their money is apparently a pretty lucrative business. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Americans lost “almost $8.8 billion” to fraud in 2022. That’s up 30% from the year before. So, if you were wondering if anyone still falls for scams in this day and age considering what we know, the answer is definitely, “yes.”
In a post on its website on Thursday, the Sheriff’s Office said it’s received “several reports” from county residents saying they’ve been called by someone claiming to be with the Sheriff’s Office who tells them they have a warrant out for their arrest for missing a court appearance. The caller then says the warrant can be settled if the potential victim pays a fine using gift cards or pre-paid debit cards. It’s an oldie but a goodie, and one that can work for the scammer if they target the right victim.
The Sheriff’s Office says in some of the reported cases the scammers are using the names of actual deputies in order to make the call appear legitimate. The statement from the Sheriff’s Office goes on to say that it is not uncommon for actual deputies to call residents, however, that is generally to follow up on current investigations.
Reports like these are always a good reminder that if someone claiming to be with a law enforcement agency calls and asks for money over the phone for one reason or another, chances are it’s a scam. Especially if they ask for payment through the use of gift cards or pre-paid debit cards. If you’re ever unsure about the legitimacy of a phone call, your best bet is to end that call, then call the office they claim to be with and ask if the call was real.
[Sources: Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office / FTC]
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