TANGIPAHOA PARISH, La. (WVUE) - The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office is warning its residents of a phone scam that could con citizens out of thousands of dollars.
On Wednesday (Oct. 23), a resident received a call from someone posing as a Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office Deputy stating the US Department of the Treasury is holding a material witness warrant for their arrest and they must pay large sums of money through prepaid credit cards to clear the warrant.
The caller identifies himself as a specific TPSO deputy informing the individual that the call is about a legal matter.
“They’re even using the names of real government employees to make an otherwise savvy person fall for their scheme when that person calls the agency to check the reference,” Financial Detective Michael D’Amato said.
No government entity operates in this manner, according to the sheriff’s office.
The callers sound as though they are locals with southern accents and have adopted the practice of using technology to “spoof”, or clone, the main number to governmental agencies, including the TPSO, to make the call seem more legitimate.
The sheriff’s office warns parish residents to be on guard and use common sense when contacted by suspected scammers.