Your cellphone rings and you answer it. A feeling of dread rises as you hear the caller, who says he is from the sheriff’s office, tells you that you missed jury duty and there is a warrant out for your arrest.
You’re in a panic, not believing this could be happening to you. The caller is convincing. He tells you that to resolve the problem you can pay the fine of $500 by sending money through a wire transfer or buying multiple gift cards and mailing them to a certain location.
This is just one of a number of scams thieves are using to convince you to give them your money. During a recent interview, Sgt. Terry Fritts, of the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, said such scams present a difficult situation for everyone involved.
“It’s difficult for us to even investigate,” he said. “We do pick up the ball, and we run with it as far as we can. However, a lot of times we reach a dead end when we find that the bad guys used all these different VPNs [virtual private networks] to bounce off of and we don’t actually know where the bad guy is from.
“And when we do finally trace them out, usually we would find that these people aren’t even in the United States and then that’s where our hands are tied because once it becomes an international incident, if it doesn’t meet a certain threshold of money, then the feds don’t even look at…