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Sheriff’s Office issues warning about phone scam


The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents to be aware of a phone scam.

The scammers are identifying themselves as employees of the Sheriff's Office and telling whoever answers the phone that they have pending charges for missing jury duty, the Sheriff’s Office said in a release.

The caller tells the person on the phone there is a warrant for his or her arrest. To avoid being arrested, the caller says the person needs to provide personal information and Green Dot prepaid debit cards or gift cards to the caller, the release said.

“Law enforcement will never demand money to avoid an arrest,’’ the release said.

In previous versions of the scam, callers were asking people to purchase gift cards to pay their bonds. The person was asked to send a picture of the gift card with the code on the back to avoid being arrested, the release said.

Now the scammers are asking people to text a picture of their identification card, the release said. Once the scammer receives the picture, the scammer sends a barcode. The barcode allows money to be loaded instantly onto the scammer's prepaid gift card, the release said. 

“This new method does not require a picture of a gift card, which previously was an indicator alerting you of the scam,’’ the Sheriff’s Office said.

The Sheriff’s Office warns residents against sending pictures of their identification to people, saying it could lead to identity theft.

Anyone who has information about this scam or who has been a victim should contact Sgt. D. Frankart at 910-677-5565 or Fayetteville / Cumberland County CrimeStoppers at 910-483-TIPS (8477).

Cumberland County, Sheriff's Office, scammers