New Phone Scam Says Pay Up or Go to Jail

GREENUP COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- A new phone scam is sweeping through our region, warning people that if they don’t pay they may end up in jail.

Deputies at the Greenup County Sheriff’s Department posted on their Facebook page, warning residents about the call.

They say scammers are calling people and saying there is a warrant for their arrest and that they must pay certain amount to avoid being arrested.

If the scammers don’t catch you on the phone, they are leaving a message. When you return their call, they capture your name, give you a fake case number and make up phony charges.

In some cases, the scammers already have the caller’s birthday, address and at least most of a Social Security number.

It’s part of what deputies are calling an elaborate system.

“When you call in, it sounds like a normal place of business; it plays music,” Greenup Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Houston said. “When you talk to them, they're going to ask you for a number. You give them any number, they're going to say, 'Oh yeah, I’ve got a case number, is your name so and so?' For example, they told one guy he owed $1,722 but he could settle it for $214.”

Deputies say these calls are worrying people that they are in trouble.

“They’re making up case numbers, making up charges, saying people have done stuff that they haven’t done,” Houston said. “People around here don't want to be in trouble, they've never been in trouble before. They have never done anything wrong before and they get threatened, so they'll pay just whatever, basically because they don't want to be in trouble.”

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