WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents to be on the lookout for phone scammers pretending to be deputies.
According to a Facebook post by the sheriff’s office, scammers call up potential victims and claim to be a law enforcement officer, saying they have a warrant for their arrest because they missed jury duty or federal court, or that they owe money to the IRS.
Officials say scammers spoof, or fake, a number on caller ID that appears to come from the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office.
The scammer then instructs the victim to purchase a Green Dot money card or similar items and to give the caller the code number on the back of them. They might also be instructed to wire money through Western Union or Money Gram or even send a personal check.
The scammer will say if the money isn’t received that the person is to be arrested.
Brunswick authorities want the public to know they do not call county residents for money.
“Many times these scammers, they talk very authoritative. They use law enforcement lingo and can sound very convincing," said Emily Flax, public information officer for the sheriff’s office. "They will use the victim’s name, their address, phone number so that the victim knows, or the victim assumes, that this person is valid.”
If you question whether you’ve missed jury duty or if you have outstanding warrants, call the sheriff’s office or the clerk of court to confirm.
Law enforcement asks that you share this information with those who may be targeted by this scam, especially the elderly.