ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) -- The Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office wants to warn people of a scam happening in the area.
During the past 24 hours, the sheriff's office has received more than a six complaints from citizens indicating that they were contacted by someone claiming to be from the sheriff's office. The caller goes on to identify themselves as either Sgt. Joseph Kelly or Officer Jackson, neither of which works for the sheriff's office, and advises the citizen that they have outstanding warrants for their arrest.
Sheriff Bryan Hutcheson is not happy someone is trying to give his office a bad name, "That someone would use the police to try and perpetuate their own scam; its a little bit ironic and to us its insulting that they would try to make us a part of it and bring our name down into the mud where they're dwelling."
The citizen is then told that the warrants were issued by Judge Claybrook and that they would be arrested if they did not pay the fines immediately. They were then instructed to go to a local department store to obtain a “Green Dot” card and put money onto a balance on the card. Then, they are to call back 540-223-1191, which is supposed to be the Warrants Division of the sheriff’s office, and they could pay the fine with the number from the Green Card and avoid being arrested.
“On this particular scam, as well as for any similar activity that seems like it could be a potential scam, we urge citizens to verify the information they have been given before making any form of payment whatsoever" said Hutcheson, "Furthermore, we do not collect fines, the respective Court handles that, and even if we did so, it would not be done over the telephone.”
Hutcheson offered some more helpful advice, "You can look in the phone book, you can check online for what our phone number actually is and then call and double check the name or whatever information you were given. Just verify that and in this case if you do that you will find out it is a scam. It is not us doing this at all."
The sheriff's office is looking into these calls. In the meanwhile, if you receive a call from a person claiming to be an officer contact the sheriff's office.