Scammer claims to be Ottawa Co. Sheriff threatening to arrest - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Scammer claims to be Ottawa Co. Sheriff threatening to arrest

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The Ottawa County Sheriff is warning people in Port Clinton that he is not calling homes threatening to arrest anyone for missing jury duty.

Investigators say it is an imposter trying to steal credit card or bank information.

The latest phone scammer is targeting people in Port Clinton pretending to be the Ottawa County Sheriff saying, “You didn't show up for jury duty, there's a warrant for your arrest, but pay up and you won't go to jail.” The real sheriff is riled up and ready to make an arrest.

Ottawa County Sheriff Steve Levorchick is on the hunt for a fake.

"I became immediately upset because someone is trying to use our office and the sanctity, the safety of local law enforcement against our citizens,” says Sheriff Levorchick.

This weekend Deputy Anya Taylor received a 9-1-1 call from the victim’s brother-in-law.

"They actually got the number that he called from,” says Deputy Taylor.

When Deputy Taylor called the number back, a man identified himself as Ottawa County Sheriff Wagner.

"I said, 'I'm from the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office and I don't know anyone by your name. Are you calling people about jury duty?'” says Deputy Taylor. “And the phone went silent."

The victim, a 58-year-old Port Clinton woman, sent a friend to the Rite Aid on Perry Street to send the money order, but was stopped.

"Thanks to a clerk at the Rite Aid who noticed that things didn't appear to be exactly at face value,” says Sheriff Levorchick.

This is another case of a “spoof” scammer.  That is someone who uses a spoof mobile app to forge Caller ID information.    

The sheriff says don’t trust phone calls.

"If we do have warrants, we don't call people and say, 'By the way, we have a warrant for your arrest and you need to send us cash.' We do not dispose of warrants that way,” says Sheriff Levorchick. “We go to your door."

Detectives have been working with the phone company and have traced the cell phone back to Georgia, just outside of Atlanta. No suspects have yet been named. 

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