Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Warns of Phone Scam Demanding Money
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Major John Bean
Office: 870.541.5351 / Cell: 870.329.5638
JEFFERSON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE WARNS OF PHONE SCAM DEMANDING MONEY: Jefferson County, Arkansas - November 9, 2023-Jefferson County Sheriff' Office (JCSO) is issuing a pubic warning about a recent phone scam that has been reported by a concerned citizen. "We want to ensure the safety and security of our residents and to prevent anyone from falling victim to this fraudulent activity," said JCSO Operations Commander, Major John Bean.
JCSO received the report of a telephone scam involving a caller contacting a citizen purporting to be JCSO Criminal Investigation Division Sergeant Terry Wingard in an attempt to scam the citizen out of money. The caller falsely claimed that a warrant for failure to appear had been issued for the citizens arrest due to not appearing for court in October and an order for contempt issued by 11th Judicial West-Second Division Circuit Court Judge Robert Wyatt. The caller advised the citizen that she was being tracked and the phone call was being recorded. The caller ordered to victim to remain on the phone and to deliver $4000.00 for each warrant to him at 410 E. 2nd Avenue, Pine Bluff, Arkansas. "JCSO is actively investigating this incident, and our top priority is ensuring the safety and security of our community members. We appreciate the vigilance shown by our citizens in taking the extra steps to confirm the legitimacy of calls that appear suspicious, said Bean."
However, Bean emphasized that these phone calls are fraudulent, and any requests for money or personal information under such circumstances should be treated with extreme caution.
"As a reminder, law enforcement will never ask for payment of any type over the phone nor will they ask for personal identifying information that could be used for fraudulent purposes. Law enforcement and government agencies will also never ask you to pay by unusual methods, such as gift cards, wire transfers or cryptocurrency, Bean said."
Scammers research potential victims on the internet and social media. Then they call and deceive their victims into thinking the callers are law enforcement officers, prosecutors or police employees. Scammers may spoof a law enforcement telephone number, falsely showing on the victim's caller ID. They threaten victims with arrest for outstanding warrants or other legal issues. "We offer the following precautions, while emphasizing that it is important to verify the legitimacy of any such calls or demands, Bean said."
- Do not send money or personal information: Legitimate law enforcement agencies will not demand immediate payment over the phone.
- Verify the caller's identity: If you receive a suspicious call, contact your local law enforcement agency to verify the caller's identity and the existence of any warrants.
- Be cautious of high-pressure tactics: Scammers often use threats and urgency to force individuals into making hasty decisions. Take your time to verify any claims.
- Report any suspicious calls: If you receive a suspicious call, please report it to your local law enforcement agency.
Should you receive a call from a law enforcement agency within Jefferson County or the Prosecutor's Office, please confirm who you are speaking with. If you believe you received a scam telephone call, hang up and call the number back. If the call is legitimate, you'll be connected with a 911 dispatcher or receptionist who can verify the caller's identity. Report any scam calls to your local law enforcement agency. Please share this message with your family and friends, especially the elderly, to help prevent phone scams.
"JCSO is committed to protecting and serving our community, and we appreciate the ongoing support of our citizens in helping us achieve this mission, said Bean."
If you have any information related to this incident or have been targeted by a similar scam, please contact the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office at (870) 541-5496.