Citizens should be aware of phone scam, West says

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The Canadian County Sheriff’s Office is warning citizens about an increase in telephone fraud calls.

The fraud involves various suspects who will tell potential victims they will be arrested for failing to a bond on outstanding fines, taxes, and/or tickets. The fraudsters are using an Internet phone-based platform that will present the phone numbers with an area code of 405.

A more recent scam includes informing the citizen they have failed to show up for jury duty, and that a warrant has been issued for their arrest, according to a prepared statement from Sheriff Chris West.

The recent trend has been to request that victims go to Family Dollar or Dollar General Stores and buy two Money Pac card in amounts of approximately $500. After the victim has obtained the cards, the perpetrators will require the victim to give them the card numbers in order to prevent their arrest.

If the victims do this the person claiming to be a deputy will then tell them that one or more of the cards were not valid and demand the victims obtain more cards in the same amounts and give the deputy those numbers. They will then tell the victim that the court will refund the money on the cards that did not work.

“This is not how the bond system works or has ever worked. This is a pitiful way to obtain money from law-abiding citizens. I’m sickened these criminals are scamming citizens under the pretense of working for our Sheriff’s Office,” said Canadian County Sheriff Chris West.

The suspects committing these types of frauds are generally working outside Oklahoma. Before the victim can get off the phone the persons claiming to be with the sheriff’s office will have pulled all the money off the cards using the card numbers supplied by the victim.

These frauds have cost victims thousands of dollars, West said.

If anyone receives a call like this call, they are encouraged to call the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office at 405-262-3434 and report the scheme.