DeKalb sheriff’s office warns of uptick in phone scamming

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office is warning DeKalb County residents of phone scammers trying to intimidate victims into handing over money and other items of value.

According to officials, there have recently been multiple reports coming from “frantic citizens” indicating that phone scammers are posing as DeKalb County Sheriff’s deputies or other employees of the agency.

Through phone calls, the scammers deceive victims with intimidating threats of being arrested on a warrant that does not exist or for not appearing for jury service, stated officials. The scammer then offers to help the victim avoid arrest by paying a fee, often through prepaid money cards, according to police reports.

“You are being targeted by a criminal,” said Chief Deputy Randy Akies. “Just hang up. Do not engage in conversation with the caller and please do not give them any personal or financial information such as social security card or bank account numbers. They rely on fear to motivate the targets to follow their instructions. They are known to prey on senior citizens and immigrants.”

Scammers have also told callers to meet them in the sheriff’s office parking lot to pay the fraudulent fees to avoid being arrested; however, according to the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office website, fines and restitutions should be paid at the DeKalb County Courthouse, DeKalb Probate Office or Magistrate Court on Memorial Drive.

Officials called the scam “familiar,” and are urging residents to familiarize themselves with actual protocols followed by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office.

“The sheriff’s office will never contact anyone by phone and ask for personal information or payment to avoid arrest,” said Akies. “If anyone calls you pretending to be a representative of this agency and asking for money, let us know by calling (404) 298-8200 or (404) 298-8282.”

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