DARKE COUNTY — The Darke County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents of a telephone scam in the Darke County area.
“This type of scam has been going on all around the country for some time and seems to be perpetrated in this area periodically,” said Chief Deputy Mark Whittaker.
The telephone scam involves the perpetrator identifying himself as a Darke County Deputy and attempting to obtain fine or bond money for false unpaid fines. In one case, the suspect utilized the name of an actual local deputy and judge in an effort to legitimize the scam.
The fictitious telephone number on the caller ID shows up as a local number in an effort to lure unsuspecting victims. The caller will try to intimidate the victim into complying with his demands. In this case the victim was advised they had outstanding traffic citations, and had failed to appear in court or pay fines. The suspect asked the victim to go to a local retail store and buy a money card, then provide the number on the card so the suspect could take control of the money. When the victim refuses to comply or questions the legitimacy of the call, it is followed by threats of arrest. These cases are still under investigation.
“The Darke County Sheriff’s Office, like most law enforcement agencies, does not operate this way. We do not call and attempt to obtain money for outstanding citations or warrants from people by telephone for any reason,” said Whittaker. “Deputies do commonly make phone calls to follow up on investigations and reports. A deputy will NEVER ask you for money. If a person questions the validity of a deputy’s call, they will often be asked to call back on our publicly-known telephone number, 548-2020, and ask for the deputy, who will then take the call. “
Sheriff Toby Spencer is warning citizens not to fall for this scam. In all situations, it is important that citizens do not verify or provide any personal information over the phone unless they positively know or trust the caller. Best course of action if you suspect you are receiving a scam call is to hang up immediately.
Any citizens who have suffered a monetary loss or feel they have compromised their personal identifying information can contact the Darke County Sheriff’s Office at 937-548-2020, or their local law enforcement agency.