The Franklin County Sheriff's Office recently issued a press release concerning a telephone scam, and local authorities are warning residents to be on guard against similar scams.
It was reported that people would receive a call from someone fraudulently claiming to be a "deputy sheriff." In most of the calls, the scammer demands payment for a fine. The fine ranges anywhere from $500 to $800 and, if unable to pay, they are threatened with 30 days in jail.
In most cases, the intended victims are told to load money on a Green Dot card and give the caller the account information. The scammer then quickly will remove the money from the card before the victim can do anything to stop it.
The Norwalk Police Department reminds everyone to be cautious if they receive any phone calls or e-mails asking for money to be loaded on a Green Dot card or any similar prepaid credit card. The Norwalk police never seek or demand payment of a fine over the phone.
Here are tips to help you avoid being a victim of a scam:
* Don't respond to phone calls, e-mails, faxes or text messages warning of dire consequences if you don't provide sensitive information immediately.
* Do not provide personal information in response to an unsolicited phone call, e-mail, fax or text message, no matter how legitimate it seems.
* Always ask for and wait until you receive written material about any demand for payment.
* Never send money or give out personal information, such as credit card numbers and expiration dates, bank account numbers, dates of birth or Social Security numbers to unfamiliar companies or unknown persons.
* Contact the Norwalk police immediately at (419) 663-6780 if you're unsure of the legitimacy of any phone calls or if you have responded to what you believe may have been a scam.