HAMMOND, LA – October 22, 2019 - Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards reports that someone is using the sheriff's office phone number to scam residents.
The TPSO Financial and Cyber Crimes Unit is currently investigating a phone scam where scammers are using new techniques to con citizens out of thousands of dollars.
Today, a resident received a call from someone posing as a Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office Deputy stating the US Department of the Treasury is holding a material witness warrant for their arrest and they must pay large sums of money through prepaid credit cards to clear the warrant. The caller identifies himself as a specificTPSO deputy informing the individual that the call is about a legal matter. “They’re even using the names of real government employees to make an otherwise savvy person fall for their scheme when that person calls the agency to check the reference,” Financial Detective Michael D’Amato says.
Sheriff Edwards wants our citizens to know this is an absolute fraud. No government entity operates in this manner. Prepaid credit cards, cash cards, gifts cards, etc. Goovernment agencies do NOT accept this type of payment.
These scrupulous scammers have also added a new twist to their schemes. The callers sound as though they are locals with southern accents and have adopted the practice of using technology to “spoof”, or clone, the main number to governmental agencies, including the TPSO, to make the call seem more legitimate.
Unfortunately, reports like this are not new but are part of an ongoing telephone scam. Sheriff Edwards warns that no matter which names get used or how official the criminals are; they are still scams. Anytime someone calls demanding payment (prepaid credit card, money, personal info) for a warrant or threatens arrest, it's a scam. "DO NOT LOSE YOUR MONEY to these predatory criminal scammers who don't care about you, your family, loved ones, friends, neighbors, coworkers, or acquaintances. They only want your money!
People are urged to tell everyone they know about scammer's tactics and don't assume people already know about it. Sheriff Edwards wants everyone to be mindful of a simple philosophy: If they’ve called you, it’s probably a scam. If you’ve been contacted by one of these scammers, don’t wait - time is of the essence. Call your local law enforcement agency right away.