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Sheriff’s department warns of scams

The St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department is warning the public about a recent scam that has surfaced that involves sheriff’s departments throughout the state.

St. Francois County Sheriff Dan Bullock said the scammers will ghost phone numbers to the sheriff’s department.

“Somehow they assume the sheriff’s department phone number, so when they call it will say St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department on the caller ID,” said Bullock. “When you answer they will say, This is sergeant (whomever) from the St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department and you were called for jury duty.’ They will tell you that you missed that call and the courts have issued a warrant for your arrest.”

Bullock said they will tell the victim that in order to take care of the issue they need to make a payment through PayPal or another form of payment. He added that they can be asking for any amount of money in order to not make an arrest.

“We will not call anybody on the phone,” said Bullock. “If you have a warrant for your arrest we are probably going to show up on your doorstep. We are not going to call you and tell you about it.

“It seems like about every day we have one or two scams reported, whether it be one similar to this or the IRS scam that has been going on for some time.”

Bullock said there have been reports all over the state from sheriff’s departments which are experiencing similar scams in their areas. He added that if someone does get a call like this to just hang up and call the sheriff’s department to report the incident.

No one from the sheriff’s department or the IRS will call and request money or use scare tactics such as the threat of arrest.

Placing all phone numbers, including cell phones on the National Do Not Call Registry will help. To register online go to or to register by phone call 1-888-382-1222 (TTY: 1-866-290-4236)

Also, filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission will help bring scam artists to justice and put an end to unfair and misleading business practices. If you think you have been a victim of a scam file a complaint with the FTC online or call toll free 1-877-382-4357 (TTY: 1-866-653-4261).

The FTC enters internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or

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