Scam Alert! FCSO says scammers are using their names for phony bench warrants, more

11 January 2024- The Franklin County, PA Sheriff’s Office has been in contact with a number of citizens in the general public who have either been contacted by scammers who act as a member of their office or who have actually been scammed by them. Please be watchful and aware. The FCSO will be updating this list of known scams as we receive credible information. 

Bench Warrant Scam

Recently, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) has received several phone calls in regards to a phone scam circulating throughout Franklin County.  Below are examples of known scams.

  • Individuals receive a phone call from a person claiming to be a Deputy Sheriff, even referencing names of actual staff members. The person then states that there is a bench warrant for the individuals’ arrest for failing to appear for jury duty or a subpoena. The person then asks for a sum of money (cash in most instances) to be brought immediately to a location in order to avoid incarceration. The number may appear as a local number as the caller is most likely spoofing; however, the call could be coming from anywhere and is extremely hard to trace. 

      Megan’s Law Warrant Scam

  • In the past 12 months, the FCSO has received information that people on Megan’s Law lists are being contacted, (possibly using the name Sgt. Walters) advising individuals that they need to have a new DNA sample or make a payment (usually with gift cards) to keep from being arrested. 

       Gift Card Scam

  • In the past 12 months, the FCSO has received information that a representative is calling local citizens asking for donations and gift cards for needy people. 

 Court Administration Fine Scam

  • In the past 12 months, the FCSO has received information that citizens are receiving phone calls from someone reporting to be Franklin County Court Administration, and that they are collecting fines for not appearing for court. As a reminder, Court Administration does not collect fines or money.

Recommendations

The Sheriff’s Office reminds residents to be watchful and cautious when answering phone calls. If something does not seem correct about the call, report the suspicious call to your local police department or sheriff’s office to confirm the legitimacy before providing funds. 

If you become the victim of a scam, notify your financial institution and your local law enforcement agency immediately.