Sheriff’s Office: 53 people fall victim to phone scam involving paying money to get out of arrest warrant
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The Madison County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday that 53 people have fallen victim to a new scam involving their department. The caller states the person has a warrant for his or her arrest, and the person must transfer money over the phone to settle the matter.
This is a fraud. If you get a call of this nature, do NOT transfer money to the person. Please hang up and call the Sheriff’s Office immediately at (256) 722-7181 to report it.
“We do not call suspects, or people, to let them know they have warrants. That’s not how the court system works,” said Investigator Jeremy Hughes.
Hughes said you will be notified by mail if you have a warrant out for your arrest.
The Sheriff’s Office first heard about this scam on April 2, when someone called them to ask about it. Investigator Hughes said some of the names the scam callers have been using are “Deputy Peterson” and “Deputy Marshall.” The fake deputy tells the person they need to transfer money immediately, scaring the person into doing it.
You may think this won’t happen to you because you haven’t committed a crime. Sometimes people have fallen victim because the scam artist said they failed to show up for jury duty, or bounced a check.
In Madison County, some people have paid several hundred dollars to the fake caller. It’s totalled about $4,000 so far. The ages of the victims range from 30 and up.
Hughes said he’s not sure if the scam artists are local or not. The department is working some leads, and is also working with other police and sheriff’s departments whose names have been used as part of the scam. The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office is one, and Hartselle Police have also been mentioned, he said.
“We’ve got to track the accounts. We’ve got to follow the money,” he said.
WHNT News 19 has heard from a few of the people who have been scammed who are older in age. Please discuss this scam with your older parents and neighbors to make sure they know this isn’t real.