There are all types of scams floating around these days and, usually, the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department will put out a press release and warn the public.
However, one popular new scam is drawing special attention from the department because it uses the names of actual Guilford County sheriff’s deputies.
On Thursday, July 14, the department sent out what is at least the third warning of this same scam. That’s highly unusual and is strong evidence that the department really, really doesn’t like this particular scam. The scammers pretend to be law enforcement officers and demand that people pay fines immediately to avoid arrest.
“Guilford Metro 911 received numerous fraud calls from citizens regarding unknown persons who were calling and identifying themselves as Deputy Sheriffs.” The release states. “It has been reported that the scam callers are claiming to be law enforcement officers and in some cases are using actual local law enforcement officers’ names from the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office.”
In a lot of cases, the scammers claim that a court date or jury selection date has been missed and a warrant will be issued unless the person pays a fine – often $900 – using pre-paid cards.
According to Sheriff’s Department officials, scammers often “speak quickly and use an authoritative tone to put pressure on the citizen so he or she will agree to send money without question.”
They also use “spoofed” phone numbers that show up on caller ID as 336-641-**** numbers. That 641 prefix is well known by many as the three digits prefix for Guilford County government, including the Sheriff’s Department.
The Guilford County Sheriff’s Office will never ask that a citizen pay any fine by cash, credit card, pre-paid cards or PayPal. The department doesn’t conduct this type of business over the telephone and everyone should always be very cautious about providing any personal or financial details over the telephone.
If someone thinks they owe a fine to the department or has an inquiry about a warrant or pending arrest, they should contact the department directly by calling 336-641-3690.
Anyone with information or questions regarding these scams is asked to contact the FBI by filing a report at www.ic3.gov or call the Guilford County Sheriff’s department at (336) 641-3690.
The department is also issuing some advice to help people avoid this and other scams:
- Don’t answer calls from numbers you don’t recognize.
- Don’t return one-ring calls from unknown numbers.
- Don’t press any buttons or give out any information if it may be a scam.
The Guilford County Sheriff’s Department never calls people to demand immediate payment over the telephone or to ask for your personal or financial information.