Florence County, S.C. – Florence County residents and others across South Carolina are being warned of a sophisticated telephone scam that’s been making the rounds, targeting unsuspecting individuals with a ruse involving fake arrest warrants. Authorities are raising the alarm over these fraudulent calls, which are not only causing concern in Florence County but are also a statewide issue.
Scammers posing as deputies
The scam operates by callers posing as deputies from the Florence County Sheriff’s Office, informing recipients that they have outstanding arrest warrants due to failing to appear for jury duty. These scammers are clever, using local numbers that can even mimic the Sheriff’s Office’s actual number, making the call seem legitimate.
The caller then presents a solution to avoid arrest and public embarrassment: pay a fine, often amounting to thousands of dollars, either by providing a credit card number over the phone or by purchasing a gift card and sharing the pin number with the caller.
In some instances, these fraudsters have escalated their tactics by demanding victims to physically go to the Clerk of Court’s Office, promising that a deputy will meet them there. They go as far as using the names of actual deputies from Florence County to sound more convincing and local.
The Florence County Sheriff’s Office is urgently advising the public that these calls are unequivocally scams. The simple advice to anyone receiving such a call is to hang up immediately.
“It is not us,” the Sheriff’s Office clarified.
In the case of actual warrants, the office stressed that deputies would not make advance calls but would directly approach the individuals concerned. Moreover, the Sheriff’s Office reiterated that they do not serve as a collection agency for the court and would never solicit money over the phone.
Despite concerted efforts to crack down on these scams, including collaboration with state and federal partners, the authorities acknowledge the significant challenge in tracking down and apprehending these scammers. They often operate from locations well outside the jurisdiction of local law enforcement, making it difficult to stop them effectively.