UNION COUNTY — A scam artist has apparently “spoofed” the phone number (429-1612) of the Union County Sheriff’s Office and is calling local residents pretending to be a detective and threatening them with arrest if they don’t pay him.
In a statement released this afternoon, the Union County Sheriff’s Office announced it appears that it’s phone number has been spoofed. The term refers to a con artist making it appear that they are calling or texting from a phone number which belongs to someone else and posing as that person in order to perpetrate a scam.
The press release states that the Sheriff’s Office has been flooded with calls this afternoon from residents who say they are receiving calls from someone claiming to be a detective with the Sheriff’s Office named “Jeff.” They said that the caller claims to be working on a case where the person they are calling has either made threatening phone calls or sent a threatening text or had been texting inappropriate photos/ texts to minors. They say the caller is also telling them that if they do not pay a certain fine by a certain day/time, they will be arrested.
The press release states that “this is a scam. Our officers are not making these calls.”
Sheriff David Taylor said that if a person gets one of these phone calls, they can call the Sheriff’s Office or 911 and report it. Taylor said they will not be arrested for reporting the phone call. He also warned them not to send money to the caller for the supposed fine.
In addition, Taylor said the scam artist may tell the person they are calling that they can arrange to have their computer wiped of the offending material if they will send money to a certain account or up on a Green Dot card or to be wired via Western Union. Taylor said not to do this as this too is part of the scam.