Phony deputies are calling people and threatening to arrest them in new scam

Close up of hands holding phone with unknown caller
Adobe

People across the country are receiving threatening calls from scammers claiming to be with their local police or sheriff’s department.

Sarah Cadwallader said a man called her, identifying himself as a local sheriff’s deputy. A few hours earlier, he had left a frightening voicemail.

“Mrs. Cadwallader, you have some urgent matters that need to be addressed as soon as possible,” the man on the voicemail said. “You’re not in any immediate trouble. Could you please contact me at your earliest convenience?”

When Cadwallader finally spoke with the man, he claimed she was overdue for court.

“He told me I had missed a court date back on Oct. 24, and it was involving a juvenile,” she said.

Even worse, he told her, “If I do not appear, there is a warrant out for my arrest.”

Call sounds legitimate

As a social worker who dealt with families and children, Cadwallader thought the call was legitimate.

“It was very scary because I was thinking, ‘What did I miss? Maybe there was a court case or something,'” she said.

Cadwallader was spared the scam after alerting a friend who works in law enforcement.

“My friend told me to hang up because the next thing they would want is money, and that they would want to settle it,” Cadwallader said.

What to do if you get the call

Cadwallader wants to warn others about the scam.

“If you receive a call like that, ask questions, find out what county they are in. It is OK to say, ‘I’d like to check your badge number,'” she said.

People can then call their local law enforcement department to verify the information.

No police or sheriff’s department will call a person demanding payment on the spot to avoid an arrest. Hang up on them, so you don’t waste your money.

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John Matarese

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