DARKE COUNTY – The Darke County Sheriff’s Office received reports of a telephone scam in the Darke County area Monday.
This type of scam has been going on all around the country for sometime and seems to be perpetrated in this area periodically.
This particular telephone scam involves the perpetrator identifying himself as Chief Deputy Mark Whittaker of the Darke County Sheriff’s Office to obtain money for failing to report for jury duty. In cases such as these the suspect will utilize the name of someone from the local community they are calling. This is an attempt to legitimize the scam. The fictitious telephone number on the caller ID often shows up as a local number in an effort to lure unsuspecting victims. The caller will try to intimidate the victim into complying with the demands. They may try to solicit information to your accounts or ask you to wire money. When the victim refuses to comply or questions the legitimacy of the call it is followed by threats of arrest.
The Darke County Sheriff’s Office does not operate this way. It does not call and attempt to obtain money for failure to show for jury duty or any other court processes such as outstanding citations or warrants.
Deputies do commonly make phone calls to follow up on investigations and reports. A deputy will never ask community members for money. If a person questions the validity of a deputy’s call they often will be asked to call back on the Darke County Sheriff’s Office 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.