The number of con artists claiming to be sheriff’s deputies on the rise
LOUISVILLE, KY. (Feb. 17, 2016) – Kentuckians are being targeted over the phone by scam artists claiming to be sheriff’s deputies who can help residents resolve a federal warrant that has been issued against them – but for a price.
Attorney General Andy Beshear and a group of Kentucky sheriffs in and around Jefferson County joined forces today to raise awareness on the issue and to confirm that law enforcement does not contact Kentuckians over the phone concerning federal warrants and would never ask for money.
“Over the last six weeks, my office and many sheriffs’ offices have seen a huge rise in the number of scams bombarding Kentuckians,” General Beshear said. “By partnering with our local law enforcement agencies, we are warning consumers not to fall for these scams. These scam artists are using fear to prey on Kentuckians. Just remember, if you receive the call, hang up.”
“We as sheriffs are glad to have the opportunity to work with Attorney General Beshear on this issue,” said Jerry Wagner, executive director of the Kentucky Sheriffs’ Association. “Our sheriffs’ offices would never call and ask residents for money. If you receive a call asking for money, hang up and report it to your local sheriff.”
Beshear’s Office of Consumer Protection and criminal investigators work closely with Jefferson County Sheriff John Aubrey’s office in handling cases when consumers are scammed and give money to con artists.
"The calls come to our office in peaks and valleys but our radio room over the last two years has reported as many as 50 calls a week (from citizens who have received these calls from scammers,)" said Jefferson County Sheriff John Aubrey. "Again, we will not call you so the best defense is to hang up and call our office."
“Scammers are looking for quick, easy cash, and they love the idea of pre-paid cards,” said Oldham County Sheriff Steve Sparrow. “If a company contacts you and requires payment to be made using one of these cards, hang up and contact the company directly to inquire about the situation.”
“As law enforcement agencies, our goal is to raise awareness and help protect Kentuckians from these con artists who are trying to rob taxpayers out of their money,” Beshear said. “And joining with local prosecutors, we will use every method to stop these scammers.”
Beshear and sheriffs are asking consumers not to engage these callers and to contact the AG’s Office of Consumer Protection at 888-432-9257 or their local sheriffs’ office.
One of the critical missions of the AG’s Office is to help Kentucky families and seniors recognize and avoid scams. Beshear has recently warned consumers of a scam involving phone calls to Kentuckians claiming they had won the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes, a scam targeting victims of financial fraud, an IRS scam and the federal warrant scam.