Rhea County caught up in scam involving the sheriff’s department

RHEA COUNTY, TN (WDEF-TV) Rhea County is now falling victim to phone scams, similar to the ones McMinn County dealt with a few weeks ago.
Sheriff’s Department officials say they need people to be aware before they face this growing trend.

Jamie Holloway said, "They’re using is scare tactics."

A caller claims the Rhea County Sheriff’s Department want money and threatens arrest if you don’t pay

The circuit court clerk said he’s heard about a similar scam.

"Some other Clerks across the state said they had received calls basically the same as we had in Rhea County," said Holloway.

The Rhea County Sheriff Department found out about this scam on Monday when they received a complaint about a man who called, and said he was a Rhea County Sheriff.

"One of our officers had called them and was being very rude to them and had got into an argument with them over the phone about collecting some fine money," said Rhea Conuty Chief Deputy John Argo.

He added the complaint did not stop there. The scammer on the phone told the victim they owed money to the sheriff’s department.

"A $500 fine, and that if they would go and pay half this fine that there would be no charges, and she wouldn’t be arrested."

They then ask the victims to add the money to GreenDot cards, and once they get the confirmation number from the GreenDot cards, reclaiming that money is nearly impossible.

A key tip from the Sheriff’s Department is to recognize the first three digits after the caller’s area code.

He said their office and the clerks office will have a 775 or 570 not the 203 number these scammers are using.

If they were to contact you for official business Holloway said, "It would be through registered mail, or we would send a deputy out to someone to speak with them personally."

Officials with the Sheriff’s Department and the County Clerk both say if you have been contacted by these scammers, you need to come to talk them in person about what happened.

Categories: Crime, Local News, Rhea County

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