Sheriff Russell Issues Phone Scam Warning

The Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating complaints concerning a phone scam.  The victims receive a phone call where the caller identifies himself as a deputy sheriff.  The caller states the victim received a traffic violation notice via mail but it had not been paid, resulting in a warrant being issued for their arrest.

The caller then advises the victim they can avoid arrest and instead pay the fine by purchasing a Green Dot cash card in an amount that will be in excess of $3000.00.  The caller instructs the victim to drive to a local business to buy the card.  The caller also asks the victim to stay on the call during the drive to the business so that they can keep the victim from being arrested on the warrant should they be stopped by law enforcement officers.  Once the purchase of the card is made, the caller instructs the victim to give him the 14 digit access code off the prepaid card so the fine can be paid.

Ouachita Sheriff’s Investigators advise this is a scam.  The Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office never contacts anyone by phone requesting they purchase a prepaid cash card to pay a fine.  Several scams similar to this are occurring throughout the U.S. at this time.   The caller always states he or she represents some type law enforcement agency, that a fine is owed and instructs the victim to buy a prepaid cash card to pay the fine.  Should you receive a call of this nature, try to obtain the caller’s name and the name of the department represented. Also, if you have Caller ID, make a note of the number indicated on your phone if it is shown.  Advise the caller you will return his call by calling the main number listed for the department he represents.  Immediately after ending the call, contact the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office at 318-329-1200 or your local law enforcement agency with the information regarding the incident.