HINDS COUNTY, Miss. (WLBT) - The Hinds County Sheriff’s Office is once again seeing an increase in the number of complaints where victims have been scammed over the phone.
The caller, posing as a Hinds County Deputy Sheriff, convinces the victim that they owe money for old fines and a warrant has been issued for their arrest. Victims have reacted by giving banking information and in most cases, obtaining Green Dot Money Pack card, scamming them out of thousands of dollars.
The Hinds County Sheriff’s Office will never call and ask for money or try to obtain personal information over the phone.
"The scammers have a fake answering service identifying themselves as law enforcement officials, said Major Pete Luke. “Do not give your personal information to anyone over the phone.”
Sheriff Victor Mason told WLBT the story of how his A/C repairman got a call from a crook pretending to be law enforcement, asking for money to be sent back on a gift card.
“He got a call from a guy that claimed to be a Sergeant Troy Mitchell. And he said it was a black male that called him and said that he had missed court and he had a warrant for his arrest and that if he did not pay, for this warrant we would come get him,” said Mason.
Mason gave details of how this caller tried to convince the repairman that he was from the sheriff’s department.
“He used a name of a judge, a circuit court judge here, and he said that by not paying this fine will be a 500 dollar fine Class C misdemeanor. That doesn’t even exist,” said Mason.
Investigators at the sheriff’s department tracked down that 601 phone number. The call was traced back to a jail in Georgia.
But that isn’t the only way they come for your money; the sheriff shared a recording of a person pretending to be an Hinds County operator.
“You call us, you’ll talk to somebody. Even after hours, you’ll talk to somebody. So we don’t have this ‘press one for me, press 2 for the lounge,’ we don’t have that here,” said Mason.
Whether the schemer is calling you or you accidentally call them, remember to be aware and visit the sheriff’s department if you ever have a doubt.
“Unless we send you something in the mail, or unless we come to your house with a document, unless you know you messed up, that’s the only time you’re gonna hear from us,” said the sheriff.
If you receive one of these calls, please report it to your local law enforcement.