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GarCo Sheriff's address new scam tactic

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The Garfield County Sheriff's Office is warning locals about a new kind of scammer. They first call pretending to be a federal agent and warn their victim they have an active warrant. Then, another caller, often pretending to be a local deputy, will call to tell the victim they can pay an outstanding fine to avoid arrest. Community Relations Deputy Walter Stowe has more.

"We had a couple of people report to us that there was kind of a 2 fold back to back scam going on through the telephone. We're only have spoke directly to 3 or 4 people, but a lot of times people won't report this because they're embarrassed. They feel like. They were taken advantage of and they don't want to talk about it, especially the elderly people, probably the most vulnerable populations are the elderly, because they're trusting and don't understand the technology of what's going on. They see a phone call coming in, and they think that this has got to be legitimate.

He's using the name of a deputy or a sheriff or the sheriff's
phone number and they fall right forward. The other population, obviously, is some of our Hispanic population, because they don't understand our laws and rules that we have here in our country. These scammers ask for gift cards and route their phone numbers through different countries, making them virtually impossible to apprehend. The federal government is even involved in trying to trace or track down some of these phone numbers. Unfortunately, there's not a lot we can do once they fall victim, especially in most cases they're having them used. Gift cards are things that are untraceable that they send in or meet them and take those from them. And the people are just taking advantage of in that respect. All we can do is alert the public like we're doing now through our PSA announcements in our Facebook page, going out there with an occasional news release or press release. If somebody's calling you never give them information that they ask for. Over the phone, your best route is to call your emergency number 911. And they'll in turn, no matter which demographic or geographic area you're in, they will send a law enforcement patrol officer or deputy or police officer to speak with you, or to at least contact you by phone. And see what's going on and give you some advice."

Detailed information and press releases are on the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office Facebook Page. Officer Stowe also encourages anyone who wants more information to contact him at: wstowe@GarCoSheriff.com for his direct mailing list.

Lily Jones is a recent graduate of Mississippi State University, with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and a concentration in Broadcasting and Digital Journalism. At WMSV, MSU's college radio station, Jones served as the Public Affairs and Social Media Coordinator. In her spare time Lily likes to go to the gym and watercolor.