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The Nash County Sheriff’s Office is alerting residents of a scam making the rounds the last few weeks.
Residents are receiving phone calls from local telephone numbers, and the callers fraudulently identify themselves as members of the Nash County Sheriff’s Office. They give legitimate-sounding names like “Lt. Knox” or “Capt. Smith.”
The callers tell residents they’ve missed jury duty and a warrant has been issued for their arrest. In order to clear out the warrant, call recipients are told to purchase prepaid Visa cards or gift cards from a local store and provide the information to them on a call back, according to a social media post by Chief Deputy Brandon Medina.
“One citizen stated that the scammer even transferred them over to several other ‘members’ of the sheriff’s office who they spoke with, which made the scam sound that much more legitimate,” Medina said. “On top of that, if you call the number back, it says, ‘You have reached the non-emergency number of the Nash County Sheriff’s Office,’ and gives you prompts for different divisions at the Sheriff’s Office, but obviously, no one ever answers. They want you to leave your name and number to call back.”
The number currently in use is 252-462-3060, but the phone number constantly changes, Medina said. When a phone number is stopped, the scammers just get a new one.
Con artists are getting more and more sophisticated in trying to take victims’ hard-earned money.
“First of all, no law enforcement agency is going to call you and try to have you alleviate any type of warrant or process with a gift card or prepaid debit card,” Medina said. “That should be your red flag that it is a scam. Secondly, if you ever have any doubt about the legitimacy of whether an actual deputy sheriff from the Nash County Sheriff’s Office is calling you, call us on our real non-emergency line at 252-459-4121. Don’t ever call back to the same number they are calling from. With today’s technology, these scammers are able to ‘spoof’ their number to show anything they want when they are calling you. Unfortunately, we take reports daily from citizens who are fooled by these people and end up giving them their hard-earned money because they thought it was legitimate. Many times it is hard for us to investigate and prosecute these crimes because these scammers are not even in the United States.”
Deputies are asking everyone to use caution, and if residents have doubts about what they’re being told, they can call the sheriff’s office at 252-459-4121 to verify whether an actual deputy is trying to call.