HAMILTON COUNTY — The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office is warning people after seeing reports about police impersonation scams.

The office said it is getting reports from people getting calls from people claiming to be members of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office. They are trying to get the word out to prevent people from falling victim to a scam.

The Better Business Bureau says one of the most common scams in the U.S. involves people pretending to be government officials. In some cases, the caller claims to be law enforcement and threatens legal consequences in order to swindle money out of the potential victim.

The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office said they are hearing about scams involving callers claiming they are a sheriff’s deputy and telling the victim that they missed jury duty or a court date and must pay a certain dollar amount to resolve the matter.

Through the third quarter of 2022, the Federal Trade Commission received 555,151 reports of imposter scams nationwide. These scams resulted in a total of $2,016.2 million in losses, an average loss of $1,000.

The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office reminds people that arrest warrants are not served over the telephone. If they are not sure they are talking with an official county employee, they should hang up not served over the telephone. If in doubt about speaking with an official county employee, hang up the phone, research the appropriate number, and contact the agency directly.

Those who owe money to the county or to any government agency should contact the office directly to determine how the funds should be paid. The office said most government agencies do not use wire transfers, pre-paid credit cards or gift cards. It is almost impossible to track or recover money if the victim falls for the fraud.

You can report the fraud through several methods including:

  • IRS: The Internal Revenue Service advises people to fill out the “IRS Impersonation Scam” form on the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Impersonation’s website, tigta.gov, or call TIGTA at 1-800-366-4484.
  • Social Security: The Office of the Inspector General, Social Security Administration (SSA IG) has its own online form to take complaints about frauds impersonating the SSA.
  • Federal Trade Commission: 877-FTC Help or ftc.gov.
  • Internet Crime Complaint Centerhttps://www.ic3.gov/complaint/splash.aspx
  • Contact your cellphone carrier, which may offer free services such as scam call identification and blocking, ID monitoring, a second phone number to give out to businesses so you can use your main number for close friends or a new number if you get too many spam calls.
  • File a report with BBB Scam Tracker.