The Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office (VPSO) has received information about phone scams happening in the Parish.
Two local physicians have been contacted by these phone scammers claiming there was a warrant for their arrest for missing jury duty in 30th Judicial District Judge C. Anthony Eaves' court.
The caller threatened the physicians with jail time if they did not pay via their website
VPSO is advising residents not send scammers any money and to notify authorities when these calls occur.
If there is uncertainty about whether or not jury duty was missed, contact the Vernon Parish District Attorney’s Office at 337-239-2008 or the Vernon Parish Clerk of Court’s Office at 337-238-4345.
According to several sources within law enforcement, the following were the top phone call scams of 2017:
Debt Collection- Callers who pose as agencies claiming you owe money (like the IRS) They attempt to get your banking or credit information.
Fake Government Officials- callers claiming to be law enforcement with a warrant for your arrest, and lead you to believe you can pay a fine using bank or credit card. (not so, law enforcement uses the personal contact method)
Identity Theft- Scammers can gain access to confidential information, like social security numbers caller by asking for information very quickly often posing as a family member needing information to fill out loan paperwork etc.
Loan Scams/Credit Fixers- Caller promises to fix bad credit for a fee.
Fake Prizes, Sweepstakes or Free Gifts- Caller asks that you pay a small processing fee with your credit card to receive a free gift.
Grandson/Granddaughter is in jail– The caller may state the real name of a family member or friend who is in need of bond money. Callers may ask for credit card, or go so far as to ask money wired to a location.
The IRS put phone scams at the top of their “dirty dozen” list of tax scams for 2017. "Don't be fooled by surprise phone calls by criminals impersonating IRS agents with threats or promises of a big refund if you provide them with your private information," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. "If you're surprised to get a call from the IRS, it almost certainly isn't the real IRS. We generally initially contact taxpayers by mail."