Sheriff warns of current phone scam

Published 7:43 pm Monday, February 25, 2019

A telephone scam involving people getting calls from individuals telling them they have outstanding warrants is operating in Warren County, Sheriff Martin Pace said.

“The sheriff’s office has received numerous calls from citizens who have received calls from people identifying themselves as law enforcement, and some even identifying themselves as Warren County sheriff’s officers,” he said.

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The caller, Pace said, tells the person answering the telephone that there is a warrant for their arrest. The caller initially asks the person to meet them at the sheriff’s office, then at the end of the conversation says the matter can be taken care of over the phone and instructs the individual to get a prepaid debit card.

Pace said the sheriff’s office does not collect fines.

“By state law, we have nothing to do with collecting the fine,” he said. “That is a function of the court.

“If we do have a warrant for your arrest, we’re not going to call you and tell you that we have a warrant for your arrest. If anyone receives a call from anyone claiming to be law enforcement stating there is a warrant for their arrest and giving instruction as to what action they need to take, they should hang up immediately.”

Pace said the victim’s caller ID will indicate the call is coming from a local number with local prefixes like 636, 638 or 529. He said the callers are using an app that allows someone calling on a cell phone to use whatever number they want to be received by the victim.

“So they’re not calling locally,” he said, investigations with state and federal authorities, indicates many of the calls are originating in foreign countries.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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