Provided by the Bucks County Sheriff’s Office:
There is an ongoing telephone scam involving people pretending to be members of the Bucks County Sheriff’s Office who are telling people they must pay fines or face jail time.
The calls have reportedly appeared on caller IDs as 215-348-6236 – the actual Bucks County Sheriff’s Office telephone number. This is “caller ID spoofing.” Don’t rely on a Caller ID to verify who’s calling. It can be nearly impossible to tell whether the Caller ID information is authentic.
In a recent case, an individual was told he failed to respond for jury duty and a bench warrant had been issued for his arrest if he did not pay a fine of $2,500 immediately. The scammer also identified themselves using the name of a real deputy to make the potential victim believe the call was legitimate.
If you receive a call from someone saying they are with the sheriff’s office and they request personal financial information or demand payment, THIS IS A SCAM! Please be careful not to fall for this or any other potential phone scam. These thieves often prey on the elderly using fake Caller ID information to trick their victims into thinking they are actual members of law enforcement or a government agency.
If you receive calls such as this one asking for money or gift cards, treat the call as a scam and notify law enforcement. DO NOT PAY THEM!
Here are a few tips for handling these calls:
- If you get a strange call from the Sheriff’s Office or any other government entity, hang up. If you want to check it out, visit the official website for contact information. Government employees won’t call out of the blue to demand money or account information.
- Don’t give out — or confirm — your personal or financial information to someone who calls.
- Don’t wire money or send money using a reloadable card. In fact, never pay someone who calls out of the blue, even if the name or number on the caller ID looks legit.
- Feeling pressured to act immediately? Hang up. That’s a sign of a scam. The Sheriff’s Office will never call you and ask for money in the form of a gift card.