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Sheriff James A. McVicker is warning the public of several phone scams where individuals are using the Sheriff’s Office as a cover to gain personal information.

“We have had several calls from the public asking if this office can provide further information on calls they have received,” said McVicker. “We are telling everyone that this office is not making these calls.”

McVicker said the scam works like this: Residents receive calls being made from California or Texas or from blocked numbers. The caller tells the victim they are calling from a law enforcement agency (jail)  in that state and a friend or relative has been arrested and listed them as a point of contact. They are told the caller needs their full name, date of birth, driver’s license number, and social security number for their records before they can transfer their call to the Bladen County Sheriff’s office where a deputy is waiting to speak to them and give them the name of their friend or relative and their charges. The caller is using names of deputies who actually work at the Sheriff’s Office which makes the call seem more legitimate. Of course when they give their information, the caller hangs up.

The second scam is similar to the first but the caller tells the victim they are from the Social Security Administration and a lawsuit has been filed against them. They also ask for the victims, full name, date of birth, driver’s license number, and social security number to verify they are speaking to the right person. They tell the victim that once they have the information they will transfer their call to the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office for Deputy (name given) to speak to them and explain the lawsuit.

“These calls seem very real and it is easy for individuals to fall prey to this type of scam,” said McVicker. “We need the public to know that we do not deal with any other agencies in this manner and we do not make these calls and no other legitimate agency would need this information before transferring a call. I am urging anyone who receives this type call to immediately hang up. If you are in doubt of the legitimacy of the call then call our non emergency number at 910-862-6960 and ask for an investigator.”

Sheriff McVicker said no legitimate law enforcement or government agency will call and ask for personal information of this nature.

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