MARION COUNTY, Ind. — The Marion County Sheriff is warning about a big increase in police impersonation scams that try to make off with your money.
“I think there’s probably a team of swindlers dedicated to this scam and I think they work their way around central Indiana,” said Mitch Gore, captain with Marion County Sheriff’s Office.
In the past month, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office has been getting reports daily, people letting them know they got a suspicious phone call.
“It usually follows a standard formula; somebody calls pretending to be a deputy with the sheriff’s office. They claim you’ve missed jury duty, for example and now there’s a criminal warrant out for your arrest and they want you to pay them sometimes thousands of dollars to get out of that warrant,” said Gore.
The phone number even looks like it’s coming from the sheriff’s office. Captain Mitch Gore with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office learned firsthand these scammers are using the names of real deputies.
“They actually steal deputies’ identities. I’ve even had someone call and say, ‘Captain Mitch Gore just called and said I owed a bunch of money’ because I think they got my name from the internet,” said Gore.
These scammers are pushy, telling people they’ll be arrested and they need to pay up to avoid any legal trouble. The scammers demand cash, gift cards or even Bitcoin.
“They’re already telling you their law enforcement and that can be a little bit frightening and they keep you moving through the steps that they want you to do,” said Captain Gore.
In the past month, investigators have seen a 300% increase in reports of these types of scams. These scammers tend to target the most vulnerable citizens, including the elderly.
“They were already the lowest of the low,” said Captain Gore.
Captain Gore isn’t sure how many people have fallen victim to this scam. He wants people to be extra cautious when they get a call and if there’s any doubt, just hang up.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office will never call you about the jury duty or about an outstanding criminal warrant. If you ever have any questions, you can always call the Marion County Sheriff’s Office or email officials at firstname.lastname@example.org