January 28, 2015

Sheriff's office warns residents about phone scam

The Dare County Sheriff's Office is warning residents about a phone scam in which a caller, identifying himself as a Dare County deputy sheriff, tells them that they owe money and tries to make arrangements for payment.

According to Chief Deputy Steve Hoggard, the caller tells the person that he or she owes a fine or a tax or some other amount of money.  Hoggard said the caller proposes a meeting at which the fine can be paid or asks for credit card or other financial information.

The Sheriff's Office has heard from several residents about the calls, and the scam has been reported in other jurisdictions, most notably in the Tidewater area of southeast Virginia.

In a news release, Dare County Sheriff Doug Doughtie said that deputies may call citizens to inform them of court appearances or to schedule appointments for service of processes.

"At no time will a legitimate Dare County sheriff’s deputy ask any citizen for credit card information or other information indicating that a debt or other money must be paid immediately over the phone, nor will they ask you to come to a location for the purpose of paying a fine," Doughtie said.

He warned that citizens should never give a caller their credit card or other identifying information. 

"You should not give out confidential personal information, except during legitimate, verified transactions," he said. "At no time should you consent to meet someone at any location unless you are sure that you know that individual and that his or her business is legitimate."

If you receive one of these calls, he said, you should call Dare 911 or your local law enforcement agency.

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