Victim Of Cleveland County Phone Scam Speaks Out

Tuesday, January 6th 2015, 5:37 pm
By: News 9

The Cleveland County Sheriff's Office said they have received dozens of reports from concerned citizens who said they are receiving calls from scammers, who claim they are with the sheriff's office, and solicit money for bogus arrest warrants.

Investigators said the caller tells victims they have missed jury duty and need to pay up in order to clear the warrant. But the sheriff's office said they don't do business that way and that the scammers have been targeting random victims since the summer.

So far, deputies have had a hard time catching the culprits. And now it appears these smooth talking criminals are targeting the elderly; even really smart and savvy ones.

“I probably have received 15 calls from this individual,” said one victim.

The victim did not want to have his identity revealed, but he did want to share what happened to him, in hopes that he can stop it from happening to anyone else.

This victim is out $500 bucks because of the scam. He told News 9 the caller told him to get a green dot money pack card, and that it would act as a bond until he showed up at court. So he went up to a local convenience store and did just that.

1/6/2015 Related Story: Cleveland County Sheriff Warns Residents About Phone Scam

“And they are so smooth talking. You just think they are going to drive up in the driveway and put cuffs on you and haul you off if you don't get this accomplished right now,” he said.

The Cleveland County Sheriff's office agreed; the callers seemed very legitimate. They even recorded a message left behind, that claimed to be with their warrant team, but the name left behind does not match any of their employees.

Detectives told News 9 the scam artists have been using phone numbers with a 405 area code and a 240 prefix. We even called two of the numbers they had on file while we were there, but it appeared the crooks knew the cops were on to them, since they have disconnected their phones.

“It's very hard to track these people down because it looks like they are using disposable cell phones,” said Meghan McCormick with the Cleveland County Sheriff's office.

Everyone there said they are hoping the smooth-talking criminals are caught, before they scam any more people out of their hard earned money.

If you or a loved one have received one of these phone calls, you are urged to call the Cleveland County Sheriff's office at (405) 701-8888.