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Sullivan sheriff warns of phone scam

Sullivan sheriff warns of phone scam

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BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. — Sullivan County Sheriff Jeff Cassidy warned Monday about a telephone scam in which the caller pretends to be him or another county official and tries to collect money for missed jury duty.

In addition to Cassidy, the caller also claims to be SCSO Capt. Andy Seabolt, District Attorney General Barry Staubus or Circuit Court Clerk Bobby Russell, the sheriff said.

The scammer will “almost never accept traditional forms of payment such as cash, check or credit card but rather demand that you purchase pre-paid money cards and then tell you to give them the account numbers of these cards over the phone, so the money can be accessed remotely,” Cassidy said in a news release.

Those who receive calls from law enforcement claiming there is an outstanding warrant for their arrest and the only way to resolve it is to pay a fine and court costs should never send money or give personal information, he added.

“The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office continues to stress that legitimate law enforcement officials would never operate this way,” the release states. “We would never extort payment to satisfy an outstanding arrest warrant. Moreover, no legitimate entity would ever demand payment in the form of a pre-paid money card and refuse all other traditional forms of payment.”

He advised those with questions about the legitimacy of a call to contact law enforcement or a trusted financial adviser.

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