Authorities say scammers are targeting people in Lawrence County, Mo.

Published: Mar. 1, 2021 at 10:44 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - We have an On Your Side scam alert out of Lawrence County.

The sheriff’s office says people in the community are being targeted by scammers, threatening them with jail time if they don’t give them money.

“I knew if I’m already getting the calls than I know several people have to be getting them,” said Sergeant Melissa Phillips with the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office.

She says she experienced the scam attempt first hand.

“It was a recording. They told me that I was going to have a warrant for my arrest for some type of bank fraud and to hit one further information. I hit one. I gave them a fake name. They told me to hold. They came back on said yes, they found my file. I have a warrant for my arrest. They asked me to verify my address so I just gave them the address to the sheriff’s office. Then he hung up on me,” she explained.

She says they called repeatedly.

“I like to have fun with them when they call. Normally they don’t give up that easy. Normally they get really angry. But they didn’t really want to mess with me this time,” she said.

Phillips says she isn’t the only one being targeted.

“We’ve had several people call in,” she said. I’ve had several people call me personally wanting to know if it’s true that they had a warrant for their arrest. I tell people all the time, if you’re not sure, we have a website, check it, put your name in there. If you’re name is in there you have something to go off of.”

Phillips says authorities use different tactics.

“Law enforcement, we do call people but we’re not going to call you and tell you have a warrant. We try to take a sneakier route if we’re going to do something like that,” she said.

Phillips says that although these types of criminals are usually hard to track down, they do what they can to investigate these crimes.

“We will eventually catch up. It’s one of those, it takes time to figure out exactly who it is. But we do work them when we can,” she said.

Authorities remind us to never share any of personal information, especially social security numbers or bank account numbers.

Also, be sure to report anything suspicious.

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