2016-09-06 / Front Page

Scammer poses as deputy in phone calls

By LIZ GOTTHELF
Staff Writer

ALFRED — The York County Sheriff ’s Office is reporting a recent scam where a caller claiming to be York County Deputy Badge number 3892 is telling people they missed jury duty in an effort to get money.

The phony deputy tells the recipient of the call they’ve been issued a summons by a judge for failure to appear and contempt of court, according to a press release from York County Sheriff William King.

The caller tells the person they will need to go to the courthouse the next week to clear their record but in the meantime they need to go to the Sheriff ’s Office and place a surety bond and sign an affidavit stating they did not miss jury duty, said King.

The caller then tells the person to purchase a Green Dot MoneyPak card and to call back once the money card is purchased, said King. Green Dot MoneyPak cards can be purchased at many retail stores in amounts of up to $500 and used to reload other prepaid debit cards.

King said the Sheriff ’s Office suspects that if the person calls back, the scammer will ask for the 14 digit identification code on the back of the Green Dot card. Once the scammer has the code, they can withdraw all funds from the card without having the card in their possession, said King. The targeted victim is told to call back once the Green Dot money card is purchased.

The call back number is (207) 200-0811, ext. 31. King said when investigators called the number, a person answered the phone saying, “Sheriff ’s Office,” but quickly hung up when questioned about their identity.

King said there have been numerous reports from York County residents receiving calls from this scammer, and he suspects that there may be more.

King said victims of such calls report the scammer is “very pushy and aggressive” and threatens arrest if they don’t comply.

“Please report all such calls immediately to law enforcement and note that no law enforcement agency will ever ask a community member to purchase a ‘Green Dot’ Money Card to satisfy any debt,” said King.

The Green Dot company tells customers on its website to treat their MoneyPak number and receipt the way they treat cash. Green Dot officials warn customers to always be suspicious if a stranger asks them for their MoneyPak number.

The Green Dot company advises people to only give their MoneyPak number to someone they know, trust and have met face to face, and further advises that no legitimate company or government agency will ever ask for a MoneyPak number.

— Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 325 or egotthelf@journaltribune.com.

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