Sheriff's office warns known phone scam is now more sophisticated with 2nd scammer


Sumter's sheriff wants to remind county residents about a known phone scam that the office says is back and has become more sophisticated recently and may lead to people losing money.

According to Sheriff Anthony Dennis with Sumter County Sheriff's Office, the scam involves a caller impersonating a member of law enforcement, including using a phone number that appears to be from Sumter County Sheriff's Office. The caller may use the name of law enforcement officials working at the agency, asking for fines or fees to be paid immediately or the targeted victim faces arrest. But according to a news release from the office on Monday, June 10, the scam may now involve a second scammer pretending to be a law enforcement official who "verifies" the fine or warrant.

Other victims have been targeted through a conference call appearing to have the same phone number as the agency, making it seem legitimate.

The scammer asks victims to pay by credit card, debit card, cash app, gift card or other payment tool. Scammers have also been known to wait while victims purchase a cash card.

The sheriff's office does not accept payment by phone, according to the release, and all fines must be paid at the courthouse. It also does not conduct warrant-related business by phone. Individuals need to visit the sheriff's office and provide personal identification for such business.

The office asks that people who think they have been victims of a scam contact the office to report the incident, and if you receive a call warning of additional fines or arrest if payment is not made over the phone, hang up and contact the office.

It also reminds residents to never give their personal identification information by phone, text or email and to find the number of the agency on your own to verify whether a call, text or email is legitimate.

"Please share this information with your family and friends. We must beware of scammers and do our best to not let them take advantage of us," the agency said in the release.