Madison Co. Sheriff's Office: Scammers using threats to get thousands

Published: Apr. 29, 2015 at 8:42 AM CDT|Updated: May. 27, 2015 at 9:50 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

The Madison County Sheriff's Office is warning residents to be aware of a new scam that is costing people thousands of dollars.

Investigators say the scammers are calling people and telling them that they either have a warrant out for their arrest, need to pay a fine or didn't show up for jury duty. The scammers are asking that people transfer them money via a Green Dot Money Card or wire transfer.

You've heard us talk about this scam over and over the past six months. Someone calls, saying you have a warrant and you need to pay a fee to avoid arrest. They may even use the name of a Madison County deputy. Sometimes, the department's phone number even shows up on your caller ID.

The Madison County Sheriff's Office held a press conference on Wednesday. They want people to know that law enforcement officials will never call you requesting money to avoid arrest.

Since the beginning of April, the Madison County Sheriff's office is aware of 53 victims. Investigators do not believe they are targeting anyone specifically. Victims range in age from 30 to 70 years old.

"It is random," said Investigator Jeremy Hughes. "A lot of our victims have no relationship with us. A lot of our victims are falling for, 'you failed to go to jury duty so now you have a warrant for not appearing...' And that is not how the court administration office works."

The Sheriff's Office says they are following the money and investigating. Investigators say they have a few leads. Other departments in the Tennessee Valley have reported similar scams. The departments are working together on the investigation.

The Sheriff's Office says calling people and asking for money over the phone is not common practice and is the sure sign of a scam. The department will only notify you of an unpaid fee through the mail. They are asking residents not to transfer any money when requested to do so over the phone.

Copyright 2015 WAFF. All rights reserved.