WARNING for residents from the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office
The La Porte County Sheriff’s Office is warning area residents of a fraudulent scam that has been reported to the sheriff’s office. On Friday August 25, 2017 a 71-year-old resident from Michigan City, Indiana contacted the sheriff’s office to report what he believed to be a case of fraud. The gentleman reported that he received a phone call from a person identifying himself as La Porte County Sheriff’s Sergeant Tony Wallace. The person representing to be Sergeant Wallace told the victim that he had missed jury duty for “Judge Ferguson” and that the matter could be handled criminally or civilly. The victim was told that in order to keep the matter from being criminal he should get $1,000.00 in MoneyPak gift cards. The victim was told that he would receive a call later and at that time he could give the serial numbers from the gift cards and once he complied he could go to the sheriff’s office in La Porte where everything would be taken care of with a “civil bond”. Once the victim complied and arrived at the sheriff’s office he learned that he had been duped by a scammer and that this was a case of fraud.
The sheriff’s office encourages all citizens to be wary of any caller that wants to be paid by using a gift card or to have money wired to a location. Further, the sheriff’s office does not conduct business of this nature by telephone and never requires payment via a money or gift card. Anything of a true and official nature from the sheriff’s office would be served in document form by a deputy sheriff after it had been approved by a court.
“It is unfortunate that scam artists are preying on our older citizens and using the authority of law enforcement to coerce them into using their savings for these scams” stated La Porte County Sheriff John Boyd. “Of greater concern is the fact that they used the identity of one of our shift sergeants. We always encourage anyone that receives suspicious calls like this one to call the sheriff’s department and speak with a deputy to verify their concerns. This scam along with another in which citizens are receiving calls from a relative that is in jail and needs bond money can easily be verified by a telephone call. We also encourage folks not to rush into paying when a scammer calls and always take a few minutes to verify the information.”
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