How to Identify a Scam

The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office urges residents to become familiar with the signs of a phone scam to avoid becoming victims. Phone scams are increasingly common, but they can also occur via email. It's crucial to recognize potential scam signs and share these tips with friends and family to protect against fraud.

Tips To Avoid Becoming a Victim of a Scam

  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Resist the pressure to make an immediate decision. Fraudsters create a sense of urgency to get you to act quickly.
  • Verify the information before sending any money.
  • Never wire money based on a request made over the phone or in an email. Wiring money is like giving cash—once sent, it cannot be recovered.
  • Don't do business with people you don't know who solicit you by telephone or over the Internet. Never give out bank account or credit card numbers or personal information to solicitors.

Signs of a Probable Scam

  • You're told to send money to receive money or prizes.
  • You're asked to send payment "immediately" via prepaid debit card or electronic money order.
  • The caller uses threatening, offensive, or vulgar language.
  • You receive a phone call from a "department" without a company name provided.

Current & Recent Scams Reported

COVID-19 Stimulus Check Scam

The federal government will not ask you to confirm personal or banking information by email, phone, or text. They will also not demand a processing fee to expedite your stimulus payment. These are scams, not legitimate communications from the U.S. Department of Treasury. Do not click on links in emails or text messages, and do not provide your personal information.

Arrest Warrant Scam

Victims report receiving a phone call stating a warrant has been issued for their arrest due to their failure to appear for jury duty. The caller, claiming to be a deputy with the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office Warrants Division, instructs the victim to provide a prepaid card to void the warrant and avoid arrest. Reminder: Valid arrest warrants are typically served in person by law enforcement officials; under no circumstance will an officer ask for money or any form of payment.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Cyber Crimes Center Scam

This scam involves a virus that locks the victim's computer, displaying a bogus message stating the computer has been associated with illegal activity. The user is instructed to pay a fine using a prepaid money card service to unlock their computer. This is a scam, not legitimate communication from ICE.

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Email Scam

Businesses have reported receiving fraudulent emails appearing to be from the FBI. The email claims the user has been approved to receive compensation following an investigation. The user is instructed to pay fees via wire transfer or prepaid money card to receive the compensation. Do not respond to these emails; report the incident to the FBI immediately at

Family Member Scam

Victims report receiving a call from someone claiming to be a family member in trouble or arrested, needing money wired immediately.

Equifax Scam

Victims report receiving a call from someone claiming to be from Equifax, asking to verify account information.

West African Money Scam

Victims receive requests on social media from an individual who, after conversing over days and gaining trust, asks for money to be sent to the Bank of West Africa. This is a scam.

What Should You Do?

As soon as you recognize a possible scam, hang up immediately. Do not engage the caller or threaten them. Block the number of known scammers using your smartphone's features or applications designed to identify or block scam calls. Register your number on the National Do Not Call List at to avoid telemarketing calls.

If you ever receive a call you believe might be legitimate, ask for the caller's name and company, then verify independently by contacting the company through a known number or email. Never give personal information to an incoming caller.

If you lose money in a scam or receive threats, report it to the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office or your local law enforcement agency. If you have difficulty validating the origin of a request, contact our agency for assistance to ensure you do not become the next scam victim.