Phone scammers are stepping up their game, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office recently warned on social media.
A “common telephone scam has evolved,” A Facebook post said, detailing how scam artists have now reportedly manipulated their caller ID to show up as the sheriff’s office main line number, (770) 781-2222.
The scam, which deputies have been receiving reports of for years, usually involves a person claiming to be a deputy with the warrant unit, calling to inform a victim of a warrant for his or her arrest for a failure to appear for missing a jury duty summons or other civic duty.
“We’ve gotten calls where people have called [victims] and said, ‘Hey there’s an outstanding ticket or warrant, pay this amount over the phone and we won’t arrest you,’” said Cpl. Pete Sabella, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office. “But the sheriff’s office will never call to collect money.”
Previously, scammers have requested payment in the form of Green Dot cards or through PayPal accounts and have used the name Lt. Jonathan Williams or some variation thereof.
Sabella emphasized this is not how the sheriff’s office conducts business.
“We will never call to solicit money; we do not call and collect money for citations ever,” he said. “If someone gets a call from someone, politely hang up the phone and call or notify us.”
FCSO’s Facebook post also said if their main number “calls you and tells you to call another number, please remember that it could be a scam. The sheriff’s office will not call you and request you give us money over the phone.”
Previous scams have involved threats to disconnect power service and last February, a man was reportedly the victim of a phone scam that left him out $20,000.
The victim said he received calls from someone claiming to be from the IRS, with the caller telling the man there were active warrants on him and his wife and that they could pay a fine or be arrested.
The sheriff’s office has previously said no governmental agency, whether the IRS or local law enforcement, asks residents to pay anything over the phone or with a money order.