The Scioto County Sheriff’s office is warning local residents about a phone scam involving someone calling homes purporting to be an attorney or law enforcement official and telling the person called a member of their family has been in an auto wreck or accident.
According to Scioto County Sheriff Marty V. Donini, these cases involve someone calling the victims and stating a relative, such as a child or grandchild, has been involved in a car wreck and needs money for bail or a tow bill.
The scammers identify themselves as law enforcement officers or lawyers and request the victim send cash and or put money on pre-paid bank cards. The caller’s claim to be from out of state agencies. The sheriff’s office further believes the scammers are obtaining some of their information from publicly accessible court records to find their victims and relatives.
Law enforcement officials indicated the scam often works because many parents and grandparents will do almost anything for their children. Once the victims have made a payment, the scammers follow with more calls demanding more money for other related expenses.
These people also will instruct the victims not to discuss the situation with their family members.
Sheriff’s Department Capt. John W. Murphy encourages residents to take the following steps to protect against these types of scams. Firstly, verify with the agency whom the individual claims to represent by looking up the phone number and calling these agencies direct. Communicate with your family members should you receive one of these calls. Always be suspicious of unusual payment requests such as gift cards, cash or wire transfers.
Murphy also encourages anyone contacted by these individuals to contact local law enforcement before taking any action.