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Boone County Sheriff’s Office warns about latest phone scam

Columbia, Mo. (KMIZ)

The Boone County Sheriff's Office is warning about the latest phone scam where scammers are posing as a deputy and attempting to steal the victim's money.

The Sheriff's Department says the scammers are impersonating deputies and they will claim the victim has failed to do something like paying a fine, show up for court or appear for jury duty and will ask you to pay over the phone.

Authorities say they do not call and try to collect money over the phone and the only place money is collected by them is for bonds or warrants and will be at the Boone County Jail.

Sarah Wetzel with the Better Business Bureau says it all starts with what shows up on your caller i.d.

"They can spoof their phone numbers so when it comes through your cell phone on your caller i.d it looks like it can the Boone County Sheriff's Department, the IRS, the FBI," Wetzel said.

But, it is easier than you think for scammers to get your phone number.

Wetzel says, "they have access to all these numbers they either purchase it or sometimes whenever we get those texts saying you know to apply to this or apply to that they're looking to see if its an active number."

She says, even if a number says to reply "STOP" to stop receiving messages, don't reply and just delete the number.

The BBB says it's best to trust your gut if something feels off and to ask questions.

"Ask where they are from and what agency they are with and then look up that number and call yourself," Wetzel says.

With a scam, the BBB says a threat is usually involved and scammers will ask for different forms of payment like a wire transfer, a gift card, cash app and now even cryptocurrency because those forms of payment are not traceable and you can't get your money back.

Wetzel says if you do fall victim to a scam and pay with a credit card you can get your money back.

"The scammer is most likely not going to offer a credit card as a form of payment because they know you can get your money back and it's easy to trace," Wetzel said.

To prevent becoming a victim of scams there are apps out there, Truecaller, RoboKiller, Hiya and YouMail are all free and will prevent you from getting a call from a scammer.

The Sheriff's Department says if you receive one of these calls of someone pretending to be a deputy you should hang up and call them directly.

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Erika McGuire


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