Old scams are resurfacing in the area that are affecting unwary local residents by taking their money under false pretenses.
St. Francois County Sheriff Dan Bullock said several law enforcement agencies, especially the jail, are getting calls about paying money to get rid of arrest warrants.
“Citizens are saying an officer from here has called and have a warrant for your arrest or missed jury duty or whatever,” he said. “They’re running a scam and using my officer’s names and using our phone number sometimes, by ghosting our telephone numbers. They’re telling people to go downtown and get money on a card, call them back and give them the numbers off that card and then their warrant will go away.
“We don’t call people and tell them they have warrants. You can’t even call in here and see if you have a warrant. You have to come here, and if you have one, you won’t be leaving.”
Bullock said that this scam has been going on for the last three to four weeks.
“Never go put money on a card and give the information to anyone,” he said. “The other day they stopped one person; the people at the store were suspicious and called us because a lady was there putting money on cards. We saved her from losing the money.”
Another scam currently resurfacing is what Bullock calls the “grandparent’s scam."
“They usually call in the middle of the night,” he said. “They know the grandkid’s name. The scammers will tell the grandparent that they are in jail in another state and need the money sent to get them out.”
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A perennial spring scam that Bullock soon anticipates starting up again is deceptive asphalt contractors.
“I’ve done the neighbors and we have some blacktop left over, we’ll do yours for $100 or whatever,” Bullock quotes. “Then they put almost nothing on and tell you to stay off of it for two days, let it dry good. Then when you find out how thin it is, they’ve moved on to another part of the state.”
Bullock stresses that if someone is in doubt about these situations, contact the sheriff’s department.
The St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department can be reached at 573-431-2777, or call Central Dispatch’s non-emergency phone number at 573-431-3131.
Mark Marberry is a reporter for the Farmington Press and Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3629, or at email@example.com