Pearl River County Residents Targeted in Scams

Published 9:51 am Monday, June 5, 2023

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On Friday, the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department shared via Facebook that residents have received phone calls from posing as  U.S. Border Patrol officials requesting money.

The Sheriff’s Department in the post stated one citizen was “scammed out of a substantial amount of money.”

Picayune Cheif of Police Joe Quave said, “We do get scam calls from time to time. They will go as far as to secure public records.”

Quave said their entire goal is to catch people off guard and intimidate them. “That’s just not how we operate,” Quave said. Instead, he recommends anyone who wants to pay a fine or has questions about a fine call the municipal court at 601-798-9773.

The U.S. Customs and border patrol agency was made aware of these calls earlier this year and have put out key things to remember if you do get a call:

  • CBP won’t call you out of the blue with promises of money or threats.
  • Is the caller asking you to pay a fee or share your Social Security, credit card, or bank account numbers over the phone? Hang up. It’s a scam.
  • CBP never uses gift cards, cryptocurrency, or wire transfers. If someone asks you to pay this way, it’s a scam. Always.
  • Don’t trust caller ID. Scammers can make their phone numbers look real even if they’re not.
  • Check with CBP if you’re unsure whether a call or email is genuine. Never call back phone numbers in caller ID or left in voicemails, emails, or social media messages. Instead, type the agency name into a search bar and click on their webpage for contact information.

Lieutenant Joe Garcia, with the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department, said many of these scams are hard to trace, and the county is working with federal agencies to try and take them down.

Garcia encourages anyone who gets a scam call or thinks they might have been targeted to report it to the FBI via their website.