PONTIAC (WWJ) – Oakland County authorities are investigating cases of crooks impersonating court officers, the IRS, and even a sheriff’s deputy.
A Springfield Township resident says that someone claiming to be “Captain Watson” from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office called, saying money was owned for missing jury duty and threatened to arrest the resident. The resident wasn’t fooled and called police.READ MORE: A Look Into Cost Of Prescription Drugs Following Passage Of Inflation Reduction Act
Investigators say there is no “Captain Watson” on their roster, and no “Warrants and Citations” division —where the bogus caller claimed he worked.
Sheriff’s officials say, in similar scams, callers have said they’re from the Oakland County 6th Circuit Court, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, or the IRS, claiming that the call-taker would be arrested if he or she failed to pay a fine over the phone.
Judge Nanci J. Grant of the 6th Circuit Court says the court does not call residents and threaten them to pay fines for not reporting to jury duty.
Sheriff Michael Bouchard urges anyone who receives a call like this — regarding fees to appear for jury duty or owing taxes —never to make any payments and to immediately call the police.READ MORE: New Federal Rules On Ghost Guns Are Set To Take Effect Next Week
“No law enforcement agency or court make intimidating phone calls and demand money from citizens,” Bouchard said, in a media release. “We ask everyone to be vigilant and to trust your instincts if you receive these type of calls. These phone calls unfortunately target innocent individuals and these scam artists use legitimate names to try and cheat people out of money.”
Oakland County UnderSheriff Mike McCabe says the calls asking for money should sound the alarm for caution.
“You may get a call that says turn yourself into your local police department or sheriff’s office if there is an outstanding warrant but they will never, ever ask for money over the phone,” says MaCabe.
He notes the phone calls are difficult to trace because the scammers are often using throw-away phones.MORE NEWS: Science of Weather: Meteotsunami
Oakland County resident with questions about jury duty service can call the Oakland County Jury Office at 248-858-0029.