Scam Alert: Scammer posing as DA demands gift card to bail out loved ones

Published 10:00 pm Friday, September 2, 2016

Recently, scammers have targeted Henderson County residents by calling and telling them their children or grandchildren have been arrested and are in jail. The victims are told the only way they can bond their loved ones out is to buy a Wal-Mart or iTunes card. The caller informs the victim they can’t use a check or credit card and must give them the code off the back of the purchased card.

The twist to this current scam is the caller has represented themselves to be a member of the local district attorney’s office in the county where the child or grandchild is in jail. This is not standard procedure and several Henderson County residents have fallen for this scam and lost thousands of dollars.

The reason the scammers insist on getting a Wal-Mart or iTunes card is they have complete control over the value of the funds once the victim turns over the code. The scammer can either use the code or they can sell it. Once the scammer redeems or uses the code that was given, the victim cannot get their money back.

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Sheriff Charles McDonald is urging anyone who may be contacted by these scammers to slow down, check out the facts and not make a hasty decision to send money just because you are told a loved one has been arrested. Scammers want you to make quick decisions and can pressure you into doing something you will regret once you know the truth.

If you feel you have been a victim of this or a similar scam, please contact the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office at 828-697-4912.

– article submitted  by Lou Parton