Scammers trying to con people out of money are using the names of actual deputies, according to Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones.
A victim reported today that someone called him advising he is “Major Mike Craft” with the Butler County Sheriff’s Office. The alleged Craft then told the man he had an active warrant for missing jury duty.
Victims in these cases are told to purchase Green Dot cards from a local store and read the numbers off the card to the suspect over the phone, according to the sheriff’s office
These scammers are normally not located in the country, according to the sheriff’s office. However, they visit law enforcement websites and get names and titles of employees.
The scammers can also “spoof” a phone number to make it look like a local call or even a call from an actual police agency, according to the sheriff’s office.
“In this recent incident, the scammer’s phone number appeared to come from here at the sheriff’s office. With growing technology, this is becoming common and unfortunately people fall for it,” Jones said. “Please reach out to friends and family and make them aware of this scam.”
Maj. Mike Craft, the actual version, said the scam is “very, very frustrating” for the department.
People are not arrested if they don’t show up for jury duty, he said, and deputies never call first to tell people they have a warrant out for their arrest.
“We just go arrest them. There is no call to warn them,” Craft said.
Also, people cannot pay their way out of a warrant, he said.
“If a deputy is accepting payment for anything, there is something wrong,” Craft said.
Using the name of a real person that is recognizable to people “intimidates the hell out of them,” he said. “They think a notice got lost in the mail or something like that and (they think) now they are in trouble.”
Law enforcement agencies do not ask for money by phone for any reason, according to Jones.
If you receive a phone call asking for money from anyone stating they are an employee from a law enforcement agency, it is a scam and should be reported, he said.
Thank you for reading the Journal-News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Journal-News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.