Montgomery County Sheriff Darren Popkin says more than 50 county residents have received calls in the past week from scammers claiming to represent his office and threatening to arrest them unless they immediately send money or provide credit card information.
Popkin, in a press release Wednesday, said it’s not the first time phone scammers have targeted county residents by pretending to work for the county sheriff’s office.
“Montgomery County Deputy Sheriffs will never call and threaten to arrest you unless you immediately send money or an electronic payment,” Popkin said in the press release. The office issued similar alerts in April 2014 and May 2015.
“Deputies will never ask you to place funds for payment on a pre-paid credit card to cancel an arrest warrant,” Popkin said. “Do not provide any unsolicited caller demanding money any personal, credit card or bank information. If called, hang up immediately.”
The scam this week reportedly involves a caller claiming he or she works for the sheriff’s office who says a warrant has been issued for the call recipient’s arrest and will be executed unless payment is made. In some cases, the scammers have left voice mail messages with call back numbers answered by a realistic-sounding recorded announcement, the sheriff’s office said.
In other cases, the scammers have requested personal information and given call recipients a name and “official law enforcement rank.” The scammers then tell call recipients to get a pre-paid credit card, load it with money and call a phone number to provide the card information.
The sheriff’s office is asking anyone who has received one of these scam phone calls to contact the office at 240-777-7000.
The sheriff’s office asked victims to save any recorded messages, record the date and time of the phone call, the purported name of the caller, the call back number, and the phone number as displayed on caller ID.