• Scammers pretend to be law enforcement, threaten to arrest man if he doesn't pay fine

    By: Greg Coy


    DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. - Scammers are pretending to be law enforcement to trick people out of their hard-earned cash.

    A scammer called David Crowe falsely claiming to be a DeSoto County Sheriff’s deputy. The man threatened to arrest Crowe on an outstanding warrant if he didn't pay a fine.

    "He was threatening to send somebody over here with a subpoena, and they would actually take me to jail," said Crowe.

    Crowe told FOX13 he was on the phone talking to the crook as he drove all the way to the DeSoto County Sheriff's Office.

    He said he planned to give a gift card to the man claiming to be a deputy to pay a fine for avoiding jury duty. 

    "I went to Sheriff's office to find out what the problem was," Crow said.

    When he got to the building, a deputy told Crowe there was no warrant for his arrest.It was all a scam. 

    FOX13 discovered the crooks even tried to fool DeSoto County Sheriff, Bill Rasco. 

    "I just want the public to know -- do not fall for that scam. It is just a scam,” Sheriff Rasco said. “It happened to me."

    Someone called the sheriff demanding his social security number and threatening to have him arrested.

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    “I said, ‘I am the sheriff, so go ahead and send the sheriff after me.’ So he hung up," Rasco told FOX13.

    He said what is so disturbing to him is the audacity of the scammer to pretend to be one of his deputies.

    "The FBI, the Secret Service, nobody calls you to tell you, 'You got a warrant.' Don't sent money to anybody who calls you for that," the sheriff said.

    BBB advice for dealing with imposter scams:

    • These kinds of imposter scams are designed to intimidate and scare you into complying with their requests. Take a step back and talk to a trusted family member or friend before acting.
    • Never give out personal or financial information to someone who calls you unsolicited. There’s no way to know who is really on the other end of that call, no matter what your called ID says.
    • Remember that you can’t trust caller ID. Scammers often spoof numbers so they show up on caller ID as local numbers or numbers of well-known entities or organizations.
    • Law enforcement will not call and ask you to pay fines with prepaid gift cards. Neither will legitimate businesses or organizations.
    • If you get a call like this, hang up immediately and report the scam attempt to the law enforcement agency whose name is being used.
    • Help warn others by reporting these and other scam attempts to BBB at bbb.org/scamtracker or by calling 901-759-1300.

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