The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office is warning that scam callers are impersonating officers using fear tactics to try to get you to pay up.
The calls say you’ve missed jury duty and if you don’t pay the hefty fine you’ll go to jail. And they have reason to believe the scammer or scammers may be local, so does one of the scam targets, Annmarie McConnell.
She may have an Irish accent, but she says the voice of the scam caller who dialed her number earlier this week, must be from around Hendersonville, where she now lives.
The sheriff’s office played us a recording that is in the video above.
The caller impersonated a high ranking officer, and told McConnell she could be arrested for not showing up for jury duty.
And the timing was impeccable; one week after Superior court was in session.
So even though McConnell didn’t remember a summons, she was worried.
I’m going to become a National here and something on my record could be quite serious for me, so I wasn’t very excited to have that, so I was like oh my goodness.”
The scammer told her to meet him at the courthouse with a thousand dollars in cash or go to jail.
“I hate to say it because I feel like such a sucker you know, but they got me with fear,” she said.
She’s not the only one. The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office has fielded more than 15 calls about the scam in the last two days, and one other scam target showed up to pay her bogus “fine.”
“So someone was doing a robo-blast trying to get people to fall for it and using the sheriff’s office as a legitimate tool to further take people’s money,” said Major Frank Stout with the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office.”
“The sheriff’s office says the number was spoofed so they can’t trace it back to one individual, but by the sound of the callers voice they do believe the scammer may be local.”
Fortunately, Justice smiled on McConnell when she went to pay the bogus fine, Kim Gasperson-Justice, that is, the Clerk of Superior Court.
McConnell ran into her before meeting the scammer.
“And she’s in charge of all the jurors and she said there was no way that was real, but I was so hooked into the story at that point I was like, are you sure, and she was like, yes I’m sure,” said McConnell.
She never got to meet the scammer. He may have sensed on his last call, that she knew, so he never showed up. But the Sheriff’s office believes this same caller was also asking people to pay with a prepaid card which is a way he could get money without meeting up in person.