Thursday, 25 February 2021 11:26

RICHMOND COUNTY SHERIFF: Phone scammers posing as deputies

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RICHMOND COUNTY SHERIFF: Phone scammers posing as deputies RO file photo

ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents of yet another phone scam.

According to a press release issued Thursday, the sheriff’s office has received multiple complaints where the would-be scammer is posing as a deputy.

“The caller is telling the person answering that they have warrants for them and if they do not pay the fine, they will be arrested,” Sheriff James Clemmons said in a press release. “The caller tells them to go get gift cards for a certain amount and call back with the card info and pin number.”

The sheriff says his deputies will never call and ask that fines be paid over the phone or tell someone to buy a gift card and give the PIN.

“If anyone has provided their personal information to one of the callers, we encourage you to file a report with the law enforcement agency within the jurisdiction they reside,” Clemmons said.

Earlier this month, the Rockingham and Hamlet police departments and the sheriff’s office reported they had received complaints regarding a bank card scam.    

The N.C. Attorney General's Office offers the following tips regarding phone scams:

  • You never have to make a purchase or pay taxes, fees or other expenses in advance to receive a prize. Anyone who demands an upfront fee for a prize is trying to scam you.
  • Never make an advance payment for a loan or credit card. It is illegal under state and federal law to require payment in advance in order to receive a loan or credit card, or to be referred to someone who’ll issue you a loan or credit card.
  • Telemarketers who pitch lottery tickets over the phone are trying to cheat you. It’s illegal to offer lottery tickets over the phone or through the mail.
  • Never give your bank account, credit card or Social Security number to someone you don’t know who calls you on the phone.
  • Unless you are familiar with the company, do not respond to mailings and email messages concerning sweepstakes or lottery prizes.  Doing so can get you on a list of potential targets that is purchased by fraudulent telemarketers around the world.
  • Watch out for that check!  Telephone con artists will send you checks to cover taxes or fees on your prize or award.  They direct you to deposit the check in your bank account and then wire them cash.  The check may look real enough to fool your bank, but it is a counterfeit check  and the money you wire will end up coming out of your own funds.
  • Watch out for your senior citizen friends and family. Be especially vigilant about seniors who suffer from early stage Alzheimer’s Disease, other forms of memory loss or depression.
  • Crooks frequently use reloadable debit cards like Green Dot MoneyPaks as a method to get money from victims. Once money has been loaded onto the card, the scammer gets the card’s account number from the victim and quickly empties the account through an electronic transaction that can’t be traced.
  • Frequent trips to Western Union or Moneygram or frequent pick-ups by overnight courier services can be signs that someone is a victim of telemarketing fraud. Once a fraudulent telemarketer discovers a victim, that victim’s name will be sold to hundreds of other scammers.
  • Sign up for the Do Not Call Registry to cut down on telemarketing sales calls. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll know that many telemarketers who call are probably out to scam you.

If you believe that you have been the victim of a scam, you’re encouraged to call the Consumer Protection Division at or 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.