photo credit: Sam72 // Shutterstock
The Pitt County Sheriff’s Office says phone scammers are introducing themselves with the actual names of local deputies and mentioning the names of local judges, trying to scam residents into giving them money.
Investigators say the latest scams involve callers who claim to be deputies with the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office, who may say any one of the following things to get money from the victim they’re calling:
“We have a warrant for you for unpaid taxes or debts and unless we settle over the phone immediately with a debit or credit card, we’ll come arrest you.”
“You were summoned for jury duty and did not appear as ordered by the judge. Unless we settle over the phone immediately with a debit or credit card, we’ll come arrest you.”
“Your child/grandchild is in trouble and needs money immediately or they will go to jail.”
Pitt County Sheriff’s Sgt. Lee Darnell says the Sheriff’s Office does not call anyone asking for money, but criminals can use modern technology to change the name and number on your phone’s Caller ID, making it appear as if you are being called by the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office.
If you get a call claiming to be from the Sheriff’s Office, tell them you will call the Sheriff’s Office yourself to confirm the information, and hang up immediately. Then call the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office by dialing 252-830-4141, or look up their number at https://www.pittcountysheriff.com.
The Sheriff’s Office also wants residents to be aware of these other common phone scams reported by local residents:
- Threatening calls from the IRS, Social Security Administration.
- Fake charity appeals, imposter family members in peril.
- A report of bank fraud, needing you to confirm your information.
- Insurance, health care, or bad debt collections.
- Computer support calling to help you remove a virus (Instead, they remove everything else from your device, then demand payment to restore your programs and documents on your device).
Contact the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office if you believe you are a victim of a phone scam. Don’t play games such as trying to keep them on the phone or match wits, as they may be recording and can then use your own voice against you. Simply hang up.