The Reporter covers Miller, Morgan and Camden County in Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks and is published once per week on Wednesdays.

 

Published November 13, 2019

Morgan County sheriff warns of phone scam


MORGAN COUNTY - A telephone scam that had been hitting Miller County residents in August of this year has moved over to the nearby county of Morgan.

The Morgan County Sheriff’s Department (MCSD) issued a warning of the scam last week.

“We have had a report of someone calling our citizens on behalf of the Morgan County Sheriff’s office,” A MCSD spokesman said. “Even the Caller ID on their phone showed Morgan County Sheriff’s office. Advising them they have a warrant for their arrest and they could pay over the phone $1,000 THIS IS A SCAM!! WE WILL NEVER CALL YOU about paying money over the phone we only conduct money transaction’s at the Sheriff’s office.”

This type of scam has been around for quite a while and involves some unsuspecting person getting a call, text, email, or even sending messages on social media about a supposed emergency involving you or a family member or friend.

They then ask you to send money immediately or make a payment.

Many times they claim to be an authority figure, like a lawyer or police officer. They also may have or guess at facts about your “loved one.”

“These imposters may insist that you keep quiet about their demand for money to keep you from checking out their story and identifying them as imposters” said the spokesman. “But no matter how real or urgent this seems - IT’S A SCAM.”

The MCSD gave recommendations on what to do if you receive one of these phone calls.

• Check it out before you act. Look up that friend or family’s phone number yourself. Call them or another family member to see what’s happening. Even if the person who contacted you told you not to.
• Don’t pay. Don’t wire money, send a check, overnight a money order, or pay with a gift card or cash reload card. Anyone who demands payment in these ways is always, always, always a scammer.
• These payment methods are like giving cash - and nearly untraceable, unless you act almost immediately.
• If you sent money to a family emergency scammer, contact the company you used to send the money (wire transfer service, bank, gift card company, or cash reload card company) and tell them it was a fraudulent transaction. Ask to have the transaction reversed, if possible.
• Report it you your local law enforcement.

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