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ECSO warning of phone scam

POSTED: May 28, 2014 7:21 p.m.

The Effingham County Sheriff’s Office is warning the public about a telephone scam.

According to investigators, the caller identifies himself as a member of the ESCO’s warrants/civil division and tells the victim that he or she did not respond to a jury summons. In order to avoid arrest, the scammer states, the victim can pay the associated fines using a pre-paid debit card, usually a Green Dot card.

“These callers are extremely convincing and have extensive knowledge of the local agency that they are impersonating,” said ECSO spokesman Detective David Ehsanipoor. “It is critical that citizens are aware that no law enforcement agency will ever solicit payment of fines over the telephone, especially with the use of pre-paid debit cards. Any caller making such a request should be considered suspicious.”

The ECSO, along with other law enforcement agencies, has received “numerous reports” from people saying they were targets of a telephone scam, Ehsanipoor said.

Similar phone scams have been reported throughout several Georgia and out-of-state jurisdictions, according to Ehsanipoor. He said some have slight variations, such as the caller claiming that victim has not paid an outstanding traffic or parking ticket and can avoid arrest by paying associated fines over the phone.

Anyone who has received a phone call of this nature is asked to contact the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office criminal investigations division at (912) 754-3449.

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