The Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office is warning residents of phone scams during the holiday season.
A release states that in the past several days, LPSO has received several complaints from residents regarding phone scams. The scammer uses a virtual telephone number that appears to be an authentic law enforcement number, and the scammer identifies him or herself as a member of local law enforcement. They then attempt to threaten the receiving party with a warrant for back-owed taxes or failure to attend jury duty. The scammer will tell the person to pick up one of several forms of payment such as gift cards, green dot cards (sold at pharmacies and gas stations) or credit card payment over the phone.
Most recently, the scammer told the receiving party to meet them in front of a store such as Office Depot. The scammer will tell the person that they have a brief period of time to transfer the forms of payment via telephone or the receiving party will be arrested.
Often, the scammer will tell the receiving party to meet them after the payment has been given over the telephone at the Sheriff's Office. The forms of payment the scammer requests are most often non-traceable and non-transferable, so recovery seldom happens.
PIO for LPSO Lt. John Mowell reminds the public that the Sheriff's Office does not seek any type of payment in the form of a gift card, nor solicit payments over the phone.
If there are any concerns regarding the possibility of a warrant, the warrant department can assist you. The Bonds and Fines Department, located on the fourth floor of 1010 Lafayette St. will accept payment for court costs, fines, contempt fees, and warrants.
Warrants can also be verified by checking the JADES system online here.