A 74-year-old Anniston man was the victim of a $1,470 phone scam last week after receiving a call from someone who identified himself as an employee of the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, according to Sheriff Larry Amerson.
The caller claimed that a warrant had been issued for the victim’s arrest because he had failed to appear for jury duty. The suspect also told the victim that in order to avoid arrest, a bond of $735 would have to be paid within an hour.
Using the Green Dot MoneyPak system, a one-time debit card that may be purchased with cash at any authorized retailer such as Walmart or Walgreens, the victim sent the caller $735. After the caller falsely informed the victim that the transaction had failed, the victim sent another $735.
“This is not a new scam,” said Amerson. “People get called and say they’ve been subpoenaed to federal court and unfortunately, this gentleman was caught in a similar scenario.”
Amerson said that Green Dot cards are untraceable. Victims are typically told to remove the coating on the back of the card and provide a serial number, which allows scammers to immediately access the card’s value.
“We urge people not to pay money or give their personal information until they’ve confirmed it with their local agencies,” said Amerson.