Columbia County Sheriff’s Office issues warning about a phone scam


APPLING Ga. (WJBF) — It’s a voicemail that almost sounds official.

“You’ve reached William Bonsack with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department. Unfortunately, I’m away from my desk right now, but if you leave your name and a brief message, I will certainly get with you at my earliest convenience. Now if you reached this message at an emergency, I would advise contacting 911, thank you.”

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office is warning people of a phone call made by scammers impersonating Investigator William Bonsack and Captain Clay Smith. Investigator Bonsack says the phone calls are telling people that they are doing a pre-investigation against you.

“These people are attempting to get you to talk to a third person, who, as they say, is the victim of something you’ve done to them,” said Bonsack.

In return, the scammers are asking for your personal information to avoid being arrested.

“You just now given away all that money because that person can go to that website, and put the information in, then withdraw all of your funds,” explained Bonsack.

The Columbia County investigator says law enforcement agencies never call a person for money. He believes the scam has a connection to someone in a state jail.

“Don’t answer the questions they are asking you,” said Bonsack. “Don’t send them the money that they are requesting, because we don’t ever ask to do that. Just hang-up on them.”

He advises you to never give out your personal information over the phone. And to ask for a badge number, the supervisor, and the dispatch number.

“Call the respective law enforcement agency, tell them you just got this kind of a phone call,” said Bonsack. “Ask if you have this person working for you.”

Investigator Bonsack told NewsChannel 6 reporter, Devin Johnson, the fake number is registered back to a phone app called “Text-Me.” He says immediately call the sheriff’s office if you get a call from this scam.

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