PRESS RELEASE : FOR IMMEDIATE MEDIA AND PUBLIC RELEASE
Friday September 25, 2015
Good afternoon everyone: Please share this VERY SERIOUS SCAM information with friends, neighbors and family: Yesterday, our Office began receiving calls from residents of the County who were receiving phone calls (at home and, at work and on personal cell phones) from a male caller who had the following message for residents that he had targeted: “I am from the Lycoming County Sheriff’s Warrant Division and a warrant has been issued for your ARREST because you have failed to report for Grand Jury”. He further states that if our resident targeted pays a certain amount of “fine” the warrant will go away. The caller has required as much as $ 1,500 from our residents. He is indicating his name is either Sergeant or Lieutenant Joshua Reed. Some residents have given this perpetrator their PayPal account number or personal credit card number and paying the amount ORDERED by the male caller. This caller has provided phone numbers and personal home address information to our residents when he calls them. A FEMALE is sometimes answering the phone when our residents are calling back because a phone number is left by the male caller. Obviously this information and caller is clearly a scam. BEFORE you give ANYONE your personal information, ALWAYS call the agency the callers purports to be. In this case, PLEASE call the Office of Lycoming County Sheriff at 570.327.2280 OR the Lycoming County Court Administration at 570. 327.2330.
Below is a summary of how to safeguard you from becoming the victim of any SCAM:
1. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD A RESIDENT EVER PROVIDE ANY PERSONAL INFORMATION BY PHONE WHEN RECEIVNG ANY CALLS UNLESS THE RESIDENT PERSONALLY KNOWS THE CALLER.
2. NEVER PROVIDE ANY CREDIT CARD INFORMATION TO ANYONE WHOM THE RESIDENT DOES NOT PERSONALLY KNOW OR WITH WHOM A RESIDENT HAS NOT INITIATED THE CALL.
3. NOTE ANY TELEPHONE NUMBER OF THE CALLER, THAT IS INDICATED ON THE RESIDENT’S TELEPHONE SYSTEM.
4. DOCUMENT THE CONVERSATION WITH THE SUSPECT MAKING THE CALL.
5. DISCONNECT WITHOUT PROVIDING ANY INFORMATION TO THE CALLER.
6. CALL THE OFFICE OF THE LYCOMING COUNTY SHERIFF AT 570.327.2280 IF A RESIDENT HAS ANY CONCERNS THAT HE OR SHE MAY BE A WANTED PERSON OR TO INQUIRE IF THE OFFICE OF SHERIFF HAS ANY REASON TO MAKE CONTACT WITH YOU. NOTE: The Office of Sheriff does not conduct business in this manner by telephone.
7. Any residents who have ALREADY received any calls similar to these described, are requested to call the Office of Lycoming County Sheriff to report the calls. 8. Criminal who are questioned by YOU will become very uncooperative typically.
9. Criminals are able to access much of our personal information simply with use of personal computers and Web sites that have our personal information. Such sites are “white pages and social media sites”,etc.
These series of scam attempts are currently being criminally investigated by the Lycoming County Sheriff’s Office, , Detectives from the Office of Lycoming County District Attorney, the Williamsport Bureau of Police Criminal Investigation Division and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Please share this information with friends, relatives and neighbors in an effort to prevent them from becoming a victim.
As your Sheriff, I personally apologize to any residents who have received any such calls from any individuals in this attempt to commit fraud and possibly identity theft.
Sheriff Mark Lusk.