DESOTO PARISH, La. (Desoto Parish Sheriff’s Office News Release) – DeSoto Parish and other Parishes within the State of Louisiana have received complaints from citizens about scam callers posing as law enforcement.
These scams typically start with a threat of a warrant for your arrest, the urgency of immediate action, and a request for payment to clear it all up.
These scams can appear to be legitimate due to the phone numbers used and the manner in which they communicate. Though each complaint is investigated, these types of scams can originate from outside of the United States.
In the interim, we would like to provide the public with some red flags that will help you determine the legitimacy of such a call, and how you should proceed:
- The DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office will NEVER ask anyone to pay a fee, fine, or otherwise using Pre-Paid Cards, iTunes Cards, or the like. If any such fee were due and a call was made from our office, citizens would be asked to visit the Sheriff’s Office to speak with someone regarding the matter. This rule also applies to banks and other such businesses as well. If anyone calls you requesting you to pay using one of these methods, do not fall for this scam.
- Caller ID can be manipulated to appear that it is coming from a legitimate agency. This can easily be confirmed by hanging up, finding the correct phone number, and calling the agency to confirm the matter. If you suggest hanging up and calling back to verify, chances are the scammer will demand that you stay on the phone and resolve the matter immediately. Also, do not call to verify using phone numbers that are provided to you by the caller.
- We cannot stress this enough, do NOT send or give your personal information such as social security numbers, bank information, credit or debit card numbers to an unverified caller. If you receive a call from anyone requesting this type of information it is best to verify the caller first. This can also be done by hanging up, finding the correct phone number, and calling the agency to confirm their identity.
- A government agency such as law enforcement should act with professionalism. If you are in trouble with the law, chances are someone will visit you in person or request that you visit the Sheriff’s Office in person. If anyone calls you demanding that you pay some unexpected debt or fee immediately with a threat of arrest if you do not comply….do not trust this caller.
- Phone Scams are fairly easy to identify by simply calling the agency or office to verify before you take any further action.
Do not spend time on the phone with someone you suspect to be a scam. Anything you say, buttons you press, or information you provide could put you or your finances at risk.
Please take precautions to protect yourself. You can report phone scams to the FTC by calling 1-877-382-4357 or go online to www.ftc.gov/complaint. Your complaint can help protect others and can assist the FTC investigators in identifying imposters.