On Feb. 10 the Logan County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a concerned citizen stating that the citizen’s wife had received a call from the sheriff’s office main telephone number stating that the citizen’s wife had failed to appear in court and the person now has a warrant.
The scammer identified himself as Sam Boles and mentioned another officer by the name of Captain Williams.
“We have an employee named Sam Boles but Sam is a female and did not work today, we do not have a Captain Williams,” said Logan County Sheriff Jason Massey.
The citizen recognized the call as a scam and immediately informed the sheriff’s office.
“With today’s technology, it is easy to clone a number,” said Massey. “A scammer can also easily get employee names off Facebook or by calling the jail.”
Sheriff Massey stated that the sheriff’s office rarely call people regarding a warrant for their arrest.
“If we do, it is usually to inform someone who is already involved in a case that the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has issued a warrant and for them to come in and get it served,” said Massey. “But we will not ask for money over the phone.”
Sheriff Massey said that one of the most popular scams is the IRS scam where a person receives a phone call from a person claiming to be with the IRS and they threaten to send local law enforcement if money is not paid.
“Do not believe these people,” said Massey. “Always, independently verify the information before you send money.”
Massey said that it is best to ignore the calls and verify any time someone asks you for money.
“Remember, it is very easy for people to get your personal information. There are many companies who provide background checks by searching through numerous online public records and media sites,” the sheriff said.
Information can easily be purchased said Massey.
“There are scams where a scammer calls and says that you have a family member in jail and they can provide personal details that sound legitimate. Hang up the phone, look on the internet, and find the real number for whatever jail the scammer says, and call the jail yourself and always independently verify,” he said.
Massey said that most of these schemes originate overseas.
“I worked a case several years ago where a Logan County resident had his credit card information stolen and someone was purchasing electronics using the credit card number and the electronics were being delivered to a house in Northwest Arkansas.”
Massey said he called the local law enforcement agency and they sent an investigator to the address. The investigator found out that the resident had answered an online job posting about repackaging electronics and sending them overseas to one of the former Soviet Republics. She thought a company was buying these electronics and sending them overseas to be resold in a foreign country.
“We turned this case over to the U.S. Secret Service since they investigate many of the financial crimes in addition to their other duties. Unfortunately, the federal law enforcement agencies are also overwhelmed with these cases and tend to investigate only the main ones.”
As for the Logan County Sheriff’s Office, Massey said that if you fall victim to a fraud, they will assist you to the best of their abilities and if a case can be made, they will try to help you get your money back.
If you suspect a phone call is a scam or doubt the validity of the call, hang up and call the Logan County Sheriff’s Office to confirm.