New version of old scheme reported in Hamilton Co.

(WISH Photo, file)
(WISH Photo, file)

HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) – There is a new version of an old scheme circulating around Hamilton County, officials say.

According to a release from the Hamilton County Sheriff, last year, con artists attempted to scheme local residents by calling and threatening arrest, saying the victims were delinquent in paying taxes.

In a new version of this scheme, thieves are now calling and threatening arrest because victims didn’t appear for jury duty. According to the sheriff’s office, the callers may even be using names of courthouse employees.

Police say the scheme works like this:

  • A victim answers the telephone and the caller says a warrant is being issued for not appearing for jury duty (or paying taxes or another offense).
  • The caller may give the name of a courthouse employee or a name similar to an employee.
  • Caller ID may even show the call originating from a local number as these ID’s are easy to fake with current technology.
  • The caller then states that the victim can avoid the arrest by paying a fine submitted by wire transfer or pre-paid credit card.
  • Pressure is put on the victim to pay quickly in order to avoid jail time since once paperwork is submitted the arrest is imminent.
  • The caller may even provide another telephone number to call to verify the offense and pending arrest.

Authorities want to remind residents that arrests warrants in Hamilton County are not served over the phone. If you feel you aren’t speaking with a county employee, hang up and call the agency directly, police suggest.

If you owe money to any government agency, call the office directly, but don’t use the number the schemer gave you. Police say most government agencies won’t use wire transfers or pre-paid cards.

If you feel you’ve been a victim to this or similar schemes, call your local law enforcement agency, or Hamilton County Communications at 317-773-1282.

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