Phone scam targeting residents

By Eddie Mowen Jr. -

PREBLE COUNTY — On Thursday, Oct. 18, Preble County Sheriff Mike Simpson issued a warning regarding a telephone scam for which area residents may be receiving calls — one which may have already cost a resident over $1,000.

“The Preble County Sheriff’s Office has been contacted by a resident who received a phone call from someone claiming to from The Preble County Sheriff’s Office,” Simpson said in a press release Thursday. ” It is unclear what the motive is, as the call appears to be coming from a computer-generated number.”

“When calling the number, it is answered by a computer, stating that it is ‘the Preble County Sheriff’s Office Non-Emergency Dispatch number, Warrant Division,’” Simpson continued. “It will prompt you to pick an extension, though no one answers. It asks you to leave a message.”

“This is a scam call and we are encouraging residents to hang-up immediately should they be called. Do not provide any information to the caller. The intent of this type of scam is likely targeting residents for private, personal information”, Simpson said.

Residents should call the Sheriff’s Office at 937-456-6262 should they feel their personal information has been compromised.

Thursday afternoon, Simpson reported the Sheriff’s Office had learned the calls being made to residents were attempting to obtain credit card information.

“Residents are being told that they have failed to appear for a court proceeding and that they can ‘clear’ the issue up by paying a fee over the phone,” Simpson said.

“One resident may have lost $1,300 to this scam,” he added.

“We are urging everyone to never give out credit card information over the telephone,” Simpson said in a release. “The Sheriff’s Office does not call to collect money for not appearing in court. Once your card information is compromised, it may be very difficult to recover that money.”

Anyone who believes he or she may be a victim in this scam, should contact local law enforcement agency and financial institutions immediately, Simpson urged.

By Eddie Mowen Jr.

Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH.

Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH.