Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office Warns of New Scam Impersonating Chief Deputy
Published 9:59 am Tuesday, January 2, 2024
FRANKLINTON, La. – The Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office (WPSO) is issuing an urgent warning to residents about a sophisticated phone scam circulating in the area. Imposters, falsely claiming to be Chief Deputy Brent Jones, are targeting community members with a deceptive scheme. These fraudulent callers accuse individuals of missing jury duty, alleging that a warrant has been issued for their arrest. In a manipulative twist, they demand immediate payment over the phone to resolve this supposed warrant.
The scam surfaced when a detective’s father received one of these calls and, recognizing the deception, reported it. Unfortunately, the origin of the call remains untraceable, highlighting the sophisticated nature of this scam.
The WPSO wants to make it abundantly clear: these calls are not from their office or Chief Deputy Jones. It is not the practice of the WPSO, nor any legitimate law enforcement agency, to handle legal matters such as jury duty issues or arrest warrants in this manner, especially not through unsolicited phone calls demanding payment.
To protect yourself and your loved ones from falling victim to such scams, the Sheriff’s Office advises the following:
Never Provide Personal Information: Do not share personal details or financial information over the phone, especially with unverified callers.
Be Skeptical: If you receive a call accusing you of legal transgressions and demanding payment, be highly suspicious. Legitimate agencies do not operate in this way.
Verify Caller Identity: If in doubt, hang up and contact the agency directly using an official number, not the one provided by the caller.
Report Suspicious Calls: Any such incident should be reported immediately to the authorities. This helps in tracking scam patterns and warning others.
Educate Others: Share this information with friends and family, particularly vulnerable populations like the elderly who are often targeted by scammers.
The WPSO is committed to the safety and well-being of all residents in Washington Parish. They urge everyone to remain vigilant against such fraudulent activities and to contact them for any assistance or to report suspicious behavior. Remember, staying informed and cautious is your first line of defense against scams.