Crooks Pose As Sheriff's Deputies In Phone Scam - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

Crooks Pose As Sheriff's Deputies In Phone Scam

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Some creative and dangerous con artists are scamming people out of hundreds of dollars.  It's a scam we first told you about earlier this month.  But it seems the criminals are still at it. 

Imagine, one moment you think you're about to be hauled off in hand cuffs and the next you realize you've been had.  Cindy Anderson of Richmond Hill received a call Monday from someone claiming to be a Bryan County Sheriff's Deputy.

"From that point on, he starts telling me that he has a warrant for my arrest and that I missed jury duty on Friday, and because I didn't appear I have failure to appear and contempt of court and that if I don't come and pay the fines right then that they're going to send a unit to come pick me up," Anderson said.   

The man instructed her to buy two Pay Pal cards at a store.  He kept her on the phone for two hours while she loaded $640 onto them to pay her "fine." 

"And I couldn't hang up the phone the entire time.  But I couldn't tell anybody what was going on.  He said if I told anybody what was going on it would go from a misdemeanor to a felony," she said.    

Once the money was sent, he had her drive to the courthouse.  But on her way the line went dead. 

"It's easy to see how someone could be fooled by these criminals. And plenty of others have.  Similar incidents have been reported in the past few weeks in Chatham and Effingham Counties, usually ranging $500 - $700. 

Effingham County Sheriff's Office spokesman David Ehsanipoor says, they will never have you to pay money over the phone for any reason.  Subpoenas are hand-delivered.  And jury notices come by mail.  Finally, simply never give credit card information over the phone, for any reason. 

It is a felony to impersonate a law enforcement officer and obviously theft is too.  But the nature of the scam makes catching the crooks very difficult.  Still, if anyone feels they have been a victim of this scam they should contact their local sheriff's office. 

Anderson doesn't expect to get her money back but she hopes to help prevent others from falling into the same trap. 

"It was intimidating.  He was like, ‘I have this power, you either abide by what I'm telling you or I'm going to put you in jail," Anderson said.   

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