A Forsyth County resident was coerced out of $800 last week after she received a fraudulent call from a man claiming to be with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.
The victim, 63, was reportedly told she was speaking with Lt. Jonathan Williams from the warrant unit. The scammer informed her there was a warrant for her arrest after she failed to appear for missing a jury duty summons, according to a sheriff’s office incident report.
The man allegedly went on to tell the woman she could pay him over the phone for the violation to avoid jail time.
He also said the fine was $800 but claimed the courts would only accept a Green Dot card, which is a way to send money immediately and without a bank, or PayPal account, the report said.
Although the victim was confused by the call, the report said, she made the payment “because the male presented himself in an official manner and provided details she felt were legitimate.”
She told deputies the man provided her with a phone number, which, when called, went to a voicemail “that states the Forsyth County Warrant Unit.”
The man on the phone reportedly knew her name, date of birth, address and husband’s name.
He gave the victim the District Attorney’s name and a “fake code section” for the violation, according to the report.
The woman reportedly called the sheriff’s office after she had already sent the Green Dot cards, realizing the call was fraudulent.
Deputies advised her to keep the used Green Dot card and receipts.
“The sheriff’s office will never call anyone and ask for payment over the phone,” said Deputy Epifanio Rodriguez, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office. “This is a scam we see often. If anyone at any point gets a call [like this], hang up and call the sheriff’s office immediately.”