Harrison County Sheriff warns of phone scam

Harrison County Sheriff warns of phone scam
Authorities are investigating a potential phone scam involving the Harrison County jail. (Photo source: WLOX)

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Authorities in Harrison County are warning residents about a possible phone scam involving the county's jail.

Sheriff Troy Peterson says the phone call scam is targeting people in the area, trying to get money from residents.

Peterson said he received multiple calls and in-person inquiries Friday about what turned out to be fake phone calls, where the scammers dropped the names of current deputies in an effort to gain people's trust and their money.

"They're using two of our officers' names and saying they have warrants for their arrests," said Sheriff Peterson. "The scammers are telling the victims to come to the jail and pay through the kiosk that's set up through inmates' accounts."

The sheriff's department is currently investigating the accounts of inmates and people who may be associated with the hoax.

"The last time a scam like this went on, we found it through Atmore, Ala.," said Sheriff Peterson. "They ended up arresting a bunch of correctional officers and some inmates for the scam, and we feel like the same thing is going on now."

According to Sheriff Peterson, the people targeted so far by the scammers are between 40 and 60 years old.

"The biggest thing is no police agency is going to call you over the phone and tell you that they need you to come in and pay money," emphasized the sheriff. "There would be a subpoena made by hand delivery or something through the courts in the mail, but no phone call."

And, he says, the scammers are playing on one of people's greatest weaknesses with their phone call.

"People are vulnerable when it comes to going to jail or not so they believe it's the truth, and it's just not," said the sheriff.

Sheriff Peterson also wants reminds people not to give their address or any other personal information to anyone over the phone.

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