Friday, September 5, 2014

Sheriff warns of new telephone scam

Caller claims to be fictitious ‘Lt. Jerry Mills’

Express Staff Writer

    The Blaine County Sheriff’s Office wants to public to be aware of a new telephone scam in Blaine County.
    According to a news release issued Wednesday, a caller identifies himself as BCSO officer Lt. Jerry Mills and informs an intended victim that a warrant has been issued for their arrest for failure to appear for jury duty. The caller claims that the intended victim owes a fine of anywhere from $250 to $5,700.
    The police impersonator further embellishes the lie by saying that the intended victim’s spouse previously signed a certified letter notifying the intended victim of a jury summons.
    The impersonator then instructs the intended victim to purchase a “green dot card” or other pre-paid credit card with the specified fine amount credited to the account. Once a card is purchased, the scammer will want the account number. Once it’s provided, the impersonator claims he will take care of the warrant for the victim.
    “Please be aware that this is a phone scam and there is no Lt. Jerry Mills employed by the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office,” stated Sheriff Gene Ramsey. “We do not ever request money over the phone or offer to take care of warrants. Warrants are issued by judges and must be properly dealt with through the court system.”
    Ramsey requests that citizens who have received a call from (208) 270-3310, or from anyone asking for money to quash a warrant, contact the BCSO Detective Unit at (208) 788-5515. Anyone who has already purchased a green dot card or any other prepaid card because of a scam telephone call should not give out the account number if they haven’t already done so. Once the impersonator gets the account number, the scammer can easily access the account funds.

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