MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Shelby County Sheriff’s office is warning about scammers on the prowl trying to get information and money through phone calls and texts.
Investigators said they have received a number of complaints about the scams, which often use recordings imitating or claiming to be from the sheriff’s office, Memphis Police, or Shelby County courts.
The sheriff’s office said DO NOT provide information to these callers, do not meet the unknown callers at another location, and do not send them money.
Anyone who gets one of these calls or texts should call law enforcement.
A caller will claim to be from a reputable company, such as Amazon, Apple, IRS, Social Security, etc., and say there’s a warrant for arrest, prize money, money owed to the IRS, or such. They may claim a computer, tablet, or phone was hacked. The callers ask the victim to buy a gift card, or provide bank account information, claiming they will deposit money.
Kidnapped family member
A caller might claim a family member of their target has been kidnapped and ask for gift cards or money in exchange for the person's release. They may claim to be able to watch who is contacted from their target’s phone or devices, so the story can’t be confirmed. Remain calm and contact law enforcement if this happens.
Jury duty, warrants, arrest threats
Some callers may claim there are warrants for failure to appear for jury duty or other crimes, and money is owed or the target will be arrested. The Shelby County Jury Commission will never ask for money or financial or personal information in this way. They will never ask for gift cards to be purchased to pay to have a warrant dismissed. Do not meet these callers or send money to them.
The sheriff’s office is also warning about scammers using fake money when buying cars or other items. Often the bills will say ‘For Motion Picture Use Only.’ The sheriff’s office said it’s better to use cashier’s checks or money orders for these sales.
RELATED: Yes, scammers are impersonating Apple Support to try to steal your iCloud account information