(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is warning our citizens today about a law enforcement officer impersonation scam.
According to information that the Sheriff’s Office has received from our citizens, an individual is calling citizens in our county from different phone numbers, including the Sheriff’s Office non-emergency line, stating that he is a Lieutenant. The scammer, however, does not provide which law enforcement agency he works for. The name that the scammer is providing is Jeffrey Hines.
The scammer has told people that they have missed jury duty and is asking for personal information from others.
“We normally issue our scams update once a month, but under these circumstances, the Sheriff’s Office will issue special releases as circumstances warrant,” according to Master Deputy Jimmy Watt, Public Information Officer for the Sheriff’s Office. “Usually in this type of scam, the scammer will demand that payment be made in order for the person they are scamming to avoid being arrested for missing jury duty.”
Master Deputy Watt shares some common tips on how to avoid be scammed by a law enforcement impersonator, as well as through other scams:
· Law enforcement officers will not ask for payment in order to excuse or recall a warrant or for charges to be dropped. If someone who claims to be a law enforcement officer demands such a payment, hang up the phone, and contact your local law enforcement agency.
· Always presume that it is a scam if someone asks for payment using some type of prepaid card.
· Never provide personal identifying information to anyone, unless you are initiating an action to be done. Business and organizations that you have a relationship with; will have your information on file so there is no reason to provide it.
· It is the intent of scammers to create a sense of urgency in order to cause panic and confusion, thereby causing the victim to make a quick decision they would not otherwise make.