Scammers masquerade as sheriff’s office representatives

Scammers pretending to be officials with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office are targeting local residents with accusations saying they missed court dates or jury duty and must pay money or be arrested.

Two scam calls were reported Monday by Greenwood residents, though neither victim paid any money, according to two reports from the sheriff’s office.

A man reported he was called by someone claiming to be with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office who said he had missed a court date and there was a warrant out for his arrest.

He was directed to purchase about $900 in money cards to pay a fine to avoid arrest. He received calls from 911 and numbers that appeared to be from the sheriff’s office, but became suspicious and did not give out the numbers on the back of the money card.

A woman received a phone call from a man claiming to be a captain in the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office who informed her that she had failed to show up for jury duty for a grand jury and needed to come to Franklin immediately, according to a sheriff’s office report.

The woman was told by the caller that he needed to track her phone, at which point she refused the request and ended the call.

Law enforcement would not have made phone calls in either situation, Johnson County Sheriff Doug Cox said.

“We don’t make any phone calls on warrants,” he said.

If the sheriff’s office is going to pick someone up on a warrant, whether it is for a crime or for failing to appear for jury duty, it will be by surprise, Cox said.

The sheriff’s office will not ask people to pay fines or bonds over the phone, he said.

Cox encourages people to call the sheriff’s office to file a report if they suspect they are being scammed.