Sheriff: Look out for phone scam

Published 3:24 am Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office is warning local citizens about a new telephone-based scam that has been reported in the parish.

Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal said that the scam begins when a person calls a citizen’s phone and states there is an outstanding warrant for an unpaid traffic ticket or other violation. Seal said the imposters will then threaten immediate arrest unless the citizen pays a supposed fine.

Seal said that sometimes the scammers will demand a credit card number as well, and that the scam is especially serious because it will often show up as a local telephone number.

Seal said that the scammers can use readily available “spoofing” software to make Caller ID display the number as coming from a local law enforcement agency. He said that most of the local scam calls display the number as 985-261-1266.

“Law enforcement neither gives advance warning of arrests, nor solicits money for unpaid fines,” Seal said. “If you really owe, you’ll be mailed a court summons or other official notification you can verify.”

Seal said that scammers are using every trick they can to take advantage of citizens.

“These scoundrels are preying on innocent citizens by calling and saying that the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office has warrants for their arrest,” he said. “They even answer as ‘Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office.’ Do not give your personal information out over the phone.”