Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington warns residents about a phone scam with people claiming to be a Bossier Sheriff’s Office deputy and telling people to pay money to keep from going to jail.
The sheriff’s office has received more than half a dozen complaints from residents and businesses saying a Bossier deputy or police officer called and said they have an arrest warrant. The caller then says the person can avoid going to jail by either putting money on a pre-paid card (like a Green Dot card) or pay by credit card.
The callers have identified themselves with various names, such as Deputy James Marshall and Deputy Duane Davis. They even have used names of actual deputies employed at the Bossier Sheriff’s Office. The caller urges people not to go to the courthouse to pay the fine. That, Whittington said, should be a red flag to people.
“Folks, please do not fall for it,” Whittington said. “Our deputies are not going to call you to say you owe money and tell you to send it in.”
Calls have come from numbers such as (318) 723-70xx or (318) 935-98xx. Some of the calls have even used a voice mail message claiming to be someone from the Bossier Sheriff’s Office.
Here are few safety tips to avoid being a victim of a scam:
- If you receive a phone call from the Bossier Sheriff’s Office or other law enforcement officer and someone says you owe money to keep from going to jail, please ask for their name and where they are calling. Then tell them you will call them back; instead, call the Bossier Sheriff’s Office at (318) 965-2203 or your local law enforcement agency and report the scam.
- Never pay anything over the phone…unless you initiated the phone call and you are confident in the transaction and business or person with whom you are dealing.
- Remember, like with other types of scams (someone calling to say you’ve won the sweepstakes or a new car… and all you have to do is pay a small processing fee), if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- If you are concerned about any outstanding fines, court fees, probation fees, or property taxes you might have, you can contact the Bossier Sheriff’s Office Civil Department at (318) 965-3400 with any questions or come by the Bossier Parish Courthouse or either of the substations.
- As always, you can report scams or any other types of crimes to the Bossier Sheriff’s Office at (318) 965-2203.