MAY 17, 2018


Investigators with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office have received a number of complaints from new victims of financial scams in Florence County over the past several days. The scams take several forms but seem to have a common theme of a caller impersonating a law enforcement officer, even FCSO deputies, who threaten arrest on a bench warrant if immediate payment using a credit or gift card is not forthcoming.

Recent victims report having been contacted by someone convincingly claiming to be a FCSO deputy calling about an outstanding arrest warrant, usually, but not always for failure to appear for jury duty. The deputy then indicates that arrest is imminent if the person does not immediately pay a fine of several hundred dollars by way of credit card or gift card. The fake deputy usually tells the victim not to come to the Sheriff’s Office to pay (because no one here will know anything about it) and will refuse to meet in person (because he is probably nowhere near). He just needs the PIN for the credit or gift card and it will be taken care of. Unfortunately all of this is untrue and far too many have fallen for the scam.

The truth is that FCSO will not contact you by telephone or email if you have an outstanding arrest or bench warrant. We will just come get you, in person and bring you to jail! FCSO is not a collection agency for the Court, will not demand money from you and will never offer you a “get out of jail card” in exchange for money, regardless of whether the payment method is cash, check, money order or gift card.

The scammers are almost impossible to track or trace, and many originate outside the United States, so there is little that local law enforcement can do. The best way to protect against these scams is not to be taken in in the first place. Just hang up on the scammers.

Major Michael M. Nunn
General Counsel/P.I.O.