Sheriff issues warning about phone scam

David Millsap

At least one person in Laclede County has fallen victim to a scammer who has been posing as a member of the Laclede County Sheriff’s Office.
According to Laclede County Sheriff David Millsap, the sheriff’s office is investigating a series of scam phone calls in which the caller tells potential victims that they have missed jury duty and now have a warrant for their arrest. The scammer tells victims that in order to clear up the warrant, they need to go to a local Kum and Go store, purchase a PayPal card and send him money.
“We’re not going to ask you to pay with Paypal,” Millsap said. “If we have a warrant for your arrest, we might call you and tell you that you need to come down and turn yourself in at the Sheriff’s Office. A lot of times we are out serving civil papers, and we will leave a card and tell people that we have civil papers for you, but we will never ask you to bring money or send money or go out and buy some type of gift card to be able to pay things off.”
Millsap said that most of the known victims have simply called the Sheriff’s Office because they thought the scammer’s story didn’t sound right, but two people have made reports, and one victim was scammed out of $1,000. According to Millsap, the scam artist is familiar with the names of Laclede County judges and can cite actual court dates and times.
“Talking with people that called us, and especially this one victim, this (scammer) was very convincing on the phone, and because he could throw out some local judges’ names and that type of stuff, it really, I think, confused the victim,” Millsap stated.
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