Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office warns of ‘unusual’ phone scam

HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. — The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office issued a warning about an unusual type of scam.

Normally, scammers try to get you to send them money through gift cards or cashier's checks. In this latest scam, they aren’t asking for money. Instead, they want you out of your home.

“I just hope that no one gets caught up in this trap,” said Carmel resident Pamela McCarrel.

A few days ago, McCarrel received a phone call. On the other line was a man who claimed to be a police officer. The caller said his name was Lt. Hickey. McCarrel says the caller knew her name and other information about her.

“In the first 30 seconds, it sounded pretty darn official,” said McCarrel.

The caller told McCarrel she had two subpoenas against her. She knew that wasn’t true. She figured he was going to ask for her to send money. He never did. Instead, he told her she needed to go to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office immediately straighten this out.

“All he wanted was for me to get in my car right then. That’s when he was kind of more forceful. He was like, ‘You need to get in your car now and drive and stay on the phone,’” said McCarrel.

She knew something wasn’t right, but she still isn’t exactly sure what the caller’s plan was. The scammer may have been trying to get her home to be unoccupied.

“I guess I don’t know where it was going. That’s the scary part of the whole thing is where was it going,” said McCarrel.

McCarrel reported the call, and then the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office posted a warning on its Facebook page. So far, they’ve gotten at least three reports of this type of scam.

Thankfully, this mother of two wasn't duped by the caller, but she is afraid the next person the scammers call might become a victim.

“I just don’t want some young person to end up, or an elderly person, to end up doing as they were told,” said McCarrel.

The caller claimed to be "Lt. Hickey." The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office says there isn’t a "Lt. Hickey" associated with their department.

If a call sounds suspicious, hang up and call your local law enforcement agency.

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