Be aware of people posed as law enforcement, so you don’t fall victim to their ploys

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. -- Marshall County Sheriff Scott Walls says there are a lot of scams going on across the nation where people pretend to be deputies or law enforcement officers as a ploy to take advantage of someone else. Over the last several days, multiple instances of that tactic happened in Marshall County.

Recently, Marshall County deputies charged Jason Whorton with Impersonating a Peace Officer and Kidnapping 2nd. Deputies say he told a 19-year-old woman he was a special agent in order to take advantage of her.

Several days ago, someone posed as a Marshall County Sheriff's Office lieutenant and called women demanding money to take care of a so-called pending arrest. Those calls are under investigation.

"Any time that you are approached by someone and you don't feel that the situation is right, ask for identification. That's one thing that we expect," said Marshall County Sheriff Scott Walls, "We expect you to ask for identification to ensure that who you're dealing with is a law enforcement officer."

Sheriff Walls added because realistic law enforcement badges are available online, pay close attention that the badge is real.

There are protocols in place that law enforcement officials follow during a traffic stop or procedure. "We'll place you under arrest, put you in the back of a car and call for a marked car to come transport," Walls explained.

Law enforcement agencies will not call you to inform you of a pending warrant. "We don't call people on the phone saying you've got a warrant for a grand jury subpoena. We'll come to your house and see you, and it'll be processed through the Sheriff's Office," Walls said of his agency.

If something doesn't seem right, call a local law enforcement agency. "That's really important. If it seems out of the ordinary, it is going to be out of the ordinary," Walls said.