MEDFORD, Ore. — A telephone scammer, who claims to be a Jackson County Sheriff’s deputy, asks victims to wire money for to avoid jail time. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office says this is a common scam that scammers use by switching out authority figures.
The victims of this particular scam say they received calls over the weekend, but Jackson County Sheriff’s deputies say, these types of scams happen often. The victims of this scam say a man claiming to be a Jackson County Sheriff’s deputy named “Brian Duncan” made the call. The caller said they owed the county money to pay off a warrant and if they didn’t pay the money they would be arrested or owe more money down the road.
According to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, scams like this are not uncommon. This is just a new version of the authority figure being named. In all cases, the scammers give clear instructions about how to send money, many times through pre-paid cards or wire transfers. Scammers often use social and emotional cues to make people believe the scam.
“The social one is, ‘Hey, I’m a law officer, trust me’. Two, the emotion is ‘Oh my God, I don’t want to go to jail’. So, they work on those two and then see what you have to say, or what you don’t say, and then try to get you thinking this is for real you got to do what I’m telling you to do,” explained Jackson County Deputy Gerry Conley.
Deputy Conley says the other predominant problem with these types of scams is identity theft. Even if scammers don’t get money from their victims they can still ask questions and get information. Sheriff’s deputies recommend getting a copy of credit history once a year.
Deputy Conley says there are counties in Oregon that have volunteers who call to let people know about warrants, but they will always request that people come into the department to pay off the warrant.