The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office has received information that an unknown subject representing himself as Capt. Ray Brogden is contacting members of the public from 919-731-1481 (This is a Wayne County Sheriff’s Office phone number that is being “spoofed”. Caller ID spoofing is when a caller deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to your caller ID display to disguise their identity. Spoofing is often used as part of an attempt to trick someone into giving away valuable personal information so it can be used in fraudulent activity or sold illegally).
The person representing themselves as Capt. Brogden is advising them that there are outstanding warrants for their arrest associated with failure to comply with Federal Jury Duty. The person is then advising the citizen that they can avoid being arrested if the citizen will pay a secured bond/fine up front. The unknown subject directs the citizen to obtain pre-paid debit/gift cards of a certain value and convinces the citizen to provide the confidential number on the back of the card. The card is then redeemed and the citizen has now lost their money.
A preliminary investigation reveals that the victim was contacted by phone and then was emailed documents purporting to be issued by the United State District Court. These documents indicate the violation of federal law committed by the victim and the amount of bond that the victim is now facing. The victims are then advised they are being tracked by cell phone and any failure to follow instructions will result in their arrest.
Sheriff Pierce and his staff want all citizens to understand that no legitimate law enforcement will ever ask a citizen to obtain prepaid debit/gift cards to avoid an arrest. Anytime an individual requests a citizen to obtain prepaid debit/gift cards to avoid an arrest, it is a scam and that citizen will lose their money. If you receive a call such as this, hang up. And then call the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office at 919-731-1480 or 919-731-1481. You can call these numbers to verify whether there is an outstanding warrant or other legal document that needs to be served on you. If so, you will be instructed to either wait for the law enforcement officer to meet you in person, to come by the Sheriff’s Office or to meet the law enforcement officer at the magistrate’s office. But no law enforcement officer will ever instruct you to obtain gift cards to avoid being arrested or served with any legal document.
Again, if you receive a call such as this and a request for money is made to prevent you from being arrested, hang up on the person. Someone is attempting to instill fear in you and by using this fear, convince you to send money to this person. Rest assured, any money you send as a result of a telephone call such as this will be money you will never see again. Keep in mind individuals that commit these type frauds know how to “spoof” a telephone number to make it look like a legitimate telephone number (spoofing allows scammers to seem as if they are calling you from a local number, a trusted business, or a government office such as a law enforcement agency). Sheriff Pierce wants everyone to know that Capt. Ray Brogden is not associated with these phone calls and the Sheriff’s Office telephone number of 919-731-1481 is being spoofed.
The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office has also learned that individuals are also currently perpetrating a scam out of Jamaica wherein individuals have won the lottery. The scammers are asking the victims to obtain a money order or either prepaid debit/gift cards to pay the up-front taxes on their winnings. Again, anyone falling for this scam on a lottery they have never entered will lose their money.
There are other variations of scams that are used. In all of them, the scammer will use fear as a tactic and demand money from you. Anyone can fall for a scam, but the elderly are most susceptible. The Sheriff’s Office asks that individuals with elderly family members keep a check on who they are sending money to and why. You may also access the North Carolina Attorney Generals’ website for additional bulletins on scammers as well as a way to report a scam.