Scammers impersonating local law enforcement officers

Crime News

AUGUSTA (WJBF) — The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office says some people are receiving phone calls from a person pretending to be a local law enforcement officer.

“As fast as we have and get new technology, the faster we get someone trying to work the loopholes around technology and scam someone,” Sgt. Shane McDaniel said.

McDaniel has seen a lot of scams in his law enforcement career, but none where the scammer has been bold enough to pretend to be Chief Deputy Patrick Clayton.

“And basically, they’re saying that the subject has either missed jury duty or was issued a subpoena and they failed to show for court so now there’s this fee or fine that’s been levied against them,” McDaniel said.

McDaniel says the caller then tells the person an arrest warrant will be issued against them if they don’t pay the fine.

“And they’re thinking, oh my gosh, this has got to be real because it’s the number two man for the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office,” McDaniel said.

But McDaniel says don’t fall for it, because it’s a scam.

“Certainly we’re not going to call and say, hey, we need to negotiate a location where you can pay for this fine. We’re not bill collectors,” McDaniel said.

And McDaniel says don’t believe the threat of jail time.

“99% of the time. You know if you have a warrant on you or not. You know, if you were supposed to be in court on such and such date and you don’t go to court,” McDaniel said.

McDaniel adds that if the courts DO need to get in touch with you, they don’t use phones.

“As a matter of fact, if you get served, it’s going to be the Richmond County Marshal’s Office or the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office,” McDaniel said.

So if you get a phone call from someone you don’t know asking for money, don’t do it and don’t give away any personal information.

“Hang up the phone and notify the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office,” McDaniel said.

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