YORK COUNTY, SC (WBTV) - Investigators in South Carolina are warning people about scammers using the names of real sheriff's deputies to swindle victims out of money. There have been several cases in York County targeting the elderly.
WBTV talked to a 71-year-old victim who lost around $2,000.
"I'm embarrassed to say, I fell for it," she said.
York County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Trent Faris said the officer-impostors ask victims for money for a variety of reasons.
"You've either missed court, you've missed jury duty, you have a payment. One time one of our Captains, they used the name of one of our captains, said 'We've get your name you're on a sex offender registry. You need to pay this money and we'll get you off the registry'," Faris said.
Faris said scammers are finding the names of real officers listed online or in news reports to gain victims' trust.
"They believe a name and title," Faris said.
Victims are instructed to wire money or purchase Paypal cards, something Faris said deputies won't ever do.
"If we have an issue with you, we'll either come to your front door, or tell you to come to our front door, so we can work it out," Faris said.
Tega Cay Police and the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office has had reports of similar scams recently.
While this victim is embarrassed, she wants others to hear her story and hang on to their money.
"It's just a shame, I think that probably people my age and older have usually dealt with honest people and are maybe a little more gullible," she said.
Faris said the numbers used to dial potential victims are 'spoof' numbers and cannot be called back.
Deputies are asking families to warn older loved ones about the scam.