Madison County Sheriff’s Office warns residents about phone scam

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MADISON COUNTY, Ind. (March 16, 2016)- Scammers are at it and officials are warning you not to become a victim.

In the past week or so, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office says they’ve gotten at least a call each day reporting the same type of phone scam. Callers are telling people they have a warrant out for their arrest.  In order to avoid going to jail, the caller says the citizen needs to pay a fine.  Officials say the scammers aren’t saying exactly what the warrant is for, just that it’s ‘very serious.’

“Obviously we don’t call people ahead of time if we have a warrant for their arrest,” said Sheriff Scott Mellinger, with the Madison County Sheriff’s Department.

Sheriff officials warn the callers are demanding anywhere from $100-$350 and they’re pushing about getting that payment through prepaid money cards.  Scammers have even given a deadline between an hour and the end of the day and threatened the victim they would be arrested if they didn’t pay.

“Some people if they are frightened enough it is worth it to them to go ahead and pay that thing over the phone even though it’s not legitimate,” said Sheriff Mellinger.

Some scammers have even gone as far as asking for social security and bank account numbers.

“It’s frustrating for us that people are trying to take advantage of the public because of technology and just because they don’t have anything better to do,” said Sheriff Mellinger.

We tried to call the number the Sheriff told us that was listed on complaint’s caller IDs.  The number even had a 765 area code. The automated message was from a so-called "sheriff’s office."  The address was so muffled we weren’t able to understand it.  The system just directed us in circles.

The Madison County Sheriff’s office is encouraging anyone who gets a suspicious call to just hang up.  If you have any reservations, always call authorities before you do anything, including giving out any type of personal information or money.