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Scammer Poses As Sheriff's Office Calling About Warrant

Posted 6/1/2017

By Jared Janzen

NEWTON—The Harvey County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents about a scam where someone claiming to be from their office is calling people saying they have a warrant and need to pay a certain amount of money to avoid arrest.

“We know for a fact this is a scam,” said Melissa Flavin, public information office for the sheriff’s office.

The sheriff’s office received three reports on May 23 from Harvey County residents who had received a call like this. All three reports came within an hour of each other.

The story varied slightly each time, but according to Flavin, the caller would tell people they had one or more warrants for their arrest due to missing jury duty or missing a subpoenaed court appearance. The scammer asked the potential victims to meet in person to pay anywhere from $500 to $1,900.22.

Flavin said this is not how the sheriff’s office handles warrants. They do not make phone calls but instead show up directly at a person’s house and take that person into custody when they have a warrant. Furthermore, she said a person cannot pay off a warrant without going to jail first.

The sheriff’s department is not currently using any other means to let people know they have a warrant, although in the past they would send postcards. Flavin said people with warrants issued against them are generally aware of the reason without notification because they know they did something wrong.

“Usually if someone has a warrant they should have an inkling of it,” she said.

Common reasons for warrants are if a person does not pay a medical bill or traffic ticket.

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