Henry County Sheriff Warns Residents of Financial Fraud
There is an epidemic of telephone fraud sweeping the metro-Atlanta area and Henry County is not immune. Residents are receiving telephone calls from dishonest persons identifying themselves as Law Enforcement Officers or members of the Court Systems in an attempt to intimidate their victims into paying them hundreds of dollars.
This scam can be run by using a variety of phony scenarios to make the potential victim believe they owe money to the agency or court where the scammer pretends to work. One example of their mode of operation is that they call and falsely identify themselves as a Sheriff’s Office Deputy. They use a method to camouflage their telephone number to look like a local law enforcement number. This is called “spoofing”. They then tell the persons who answer that they were sent a notice and failed to show up for Jury Duty or pay a traffic ticket. As a result they say there is a warrant out for their arrest for failure to appear. If the victim believes the story they will then be told that the warrant can be dropped if they will pay the fine of $300 to $600.
If the victim agrees, the caller then tells them to go to a retailer that sells Green Dot prepaid cards. It could be another prepaid card but this method is preferred because of the ease to transfer funds form one card number to another and the difficulty for the government to track the transfers of the ill-gotten gains.
Once the victim puts the money onto a Green Dot card, they call the telephone number given to them by the scammer and tell them the card number of the card containing the money. The scammer then assures them there will be no legal action taken against them because they have paid the fine and ends the call. The criminal then electronically transfers the funds using the card number provided by the victim to a card number they established.
At that point the funds are no longer able to be located and those cards where monies are accumulated are cashed in and the account wiped out. There appears to be no way to track the violator’s transaction.
Sheriff Keith McBrayer wants residents to understand that the Henry County Sheriff’s Office does NOT solicit payment of fines via telephone and does NOT take payment of fines via Green Dot prepaid cards. The Sheriff is unaware of any other law enforcement agency, court or federal agency that does this form of transaction. He also advises anyone receiving this type of call to hang up and report it to your local law enforcement agency.
For more information on how to pay fines or fees for Sheriff’s Office services visit their website at www.henrycountysheriff.net.