FORREST COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - The Forrest County Sheriff’s Office is warning the public about a recent phone scam.
The sheriff’s office said the scam involves a caller attempting to collect money for an unpaid fine.
“Please be advised that the Forrest County Sheriff's Office will never contact anyone via telephone in an attempt to collect money for an unpaid fine,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement. “These scammers utilize public information and technology in an attempt to deceive unsuspecting citizens.”
Authorities said the following things typically happen with this scam:
• The caller may appear to be genuine because they have some limited information about you
• The caller may give you a real name and telephone number in an attempt to convince you they are genuine
• The caller ID number often appears to be the genuine phone number of the department the caller claims to be calling from
• They may say that there is a serious problem and that you need to pay a fine or be arrested
• Most commonly, payment is demanded to be made using Western Union, Green Dot, or by purchasing generic gift cards
• The caller will usually speak very dramatically or urgently to encourage you to panic. This is a typical technique used by fraudsters to pressure you to make a payment before you can consult with anyone else
“If you receive a suspicious call that you suspect is a scam, do not panic,” the sheriff’s office said. “Do not give the caller any information or confirm any of the information they may give you. Do not make any type of payment over the phone, and do not arrange to make any other form of payment. Immediately end the call and feel free to report it to local law enforcement.”
The sheriff’s office said there have been multiple victims who have lost thousands of dollars due to this scam in recent days.