LELAND, NC (WWAY) — A 63-year-old woman says she is still shaken up after a man fooled her out of thousands of dollars.
She is not the first victim to fall prey to this scam that now has the attention of federal investigators.
The woman, who did not want to go on camera, says a man called her claiming to be a sheriff’s deputy saying that she had missed jury duty and had an active warrant out for her arrest. She says the caller told her if she paid $2,700, she would be free from the warrant and clear of any further charges.
The victim says she agreed to pay and says the caller told her to go to a nearby Rite Aid to buy prepaid credit cards to do it. The woman says she bought the wrong cards at first, so she went back and spent another $2,700 on the right ones.
The victim says she thinks the man who called her targeted her based on information from her late husband’s obituary.
Leland Police say they tried to call the number back, but it was disconnected. Investigators say the victim told them the caller identified himself as Lt. William Hall from the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office. Wednesday afternoon, the victim told WWAY she did not remember the name he used, but that he said he was from the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office.
The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office put out a warning about the scam Tuesday. Spokesman Sgt. Jerry Brewer says anyone asking for money over the phone should be a red flag, especially if they claim to be from the Sheriff’s Office.
“There is no situation at the Sheriff’s Office where we would expect you to make payment over the phone for anything,” Brewer said.
Brewer says multiple agencies are now investigating the case.
If you think you’ve been a victim of this scam, call law enforcement.