Fake cops are targeting area residents with a phone scam. Lawrence County, Ohio Sheriff Jeff Lawless warned citizens his office received several reports from citizens victimized by these scammers.
The crook called folks at home and claimed to be “Deputy Brown” with the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office. The scammer asked for both social security and personal finance information.
Sheriff Lawless said, “This is a scam! The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office does not have a Deputy with the last name of Brown.”
No law enforcement agency calls citizens and home and requests this type of information over the phone. This is what’s known as a ‘government imposter scam’ and it’s one of the most common types of phone scams out there. These crooks impersonate local law enforcement, the FBI, IRS, and other agencies. Sheriff Lawless warned, “These types of scams are not uncommon and sometimes the scammer will even research the local law-enforcement roster and use actual officer’s names.”
Other area residents reported that they were targeted with similar scams. “I’m also receiving phone calls stating that I need to call them back because there has been a legal case filed on my name. They ask me to kindly call them back so we can discuss the legal case so they can take care of this matter. They also state that if they don’t hear from me there might be a warrant against me and that I might get arrested. I called them back and the person sounds foreign.”
Unfortunately, this is also a commons tactic of scammers. They tell victims they can settle the warrants against them by paying a fine or bond of some type. Some folks are so frightened by the call, they don’t have time to think.
Another resident reported falling victim to the same scam six years ago. “It was terrible, but I was worried about a warrant so I paid them half. I’m still shook that I even did that. Don’t ever fall for it. Always just go down and talk to someone.”
Sheriff Lawless said, “If you receive this type of phone call, please hang up the phone immediately. Do not provide the person with any of your personal information. Please also pass this word on to your family, friends, and neighbors so that they will be warned of this scam.”