August 11, 2014
For immediate release:
Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office investigators met with the most recent victims of phone scammers today. The four victims, unrelated to one another, each contacted our office on Sunday to make a report and agreed to meet with Sheriff’s investigators this morning.
Each of the victims, all women, advised that she received a phone call from someone identifying himself as “Lt. Pierson” from the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office Warrants Division. Each victim was informed that she had an outstanding warrant for failure to appear for a jury summons and that to avoid arrest, she can pay the associated fine using a pre-paid debit card. Three of the victims followed the caller’s instructions and purchased Green Dot MoneyPak cards as instructed in the amounts of $525.00, $810.00 and $962.00. The fourth victim did not purchase a Green Dot MoneyPak.
The Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office has received a dozen similar reports over the past two weeks. The phone scammers often impersonate individuals who are actually employed by the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office. Similar phone scams have been reported throughout several Georgia and out of state jurisdictions, some with slight variations, such as the caller claiming that the victim has not paid an outstanding traffic or parking ticket and can avoid arrest by paying associated fines over the phone.
The Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office continues to actively investigate these cases and warns the public to be wary of these callers, who are extremely convincing and have extensive knowledge of the local agency that they are impersonating. It is critical that citizens are aware that no law enforcement agency will ever solicit payment of fines over the telephone, especially with the use of pre-paid debit cards. Any caller making such a request should be considered suspicious. Citizens are encouraged to report all phone calls of this nature to their local law enforcement agency.
If you have received a phone call of this nature, please contact the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office Investigative Services Division at 770-619-6655.