The Pope County Sheriff’s Office received reports from Pope County 911 on Thursday, October 8, of a disturbing scam that is occurring.

According to 911 dispatchers suspects are targeting older individuals and pretending to be attorneys for a grandchild or family member that is allegedly in trouble and asking for money. Dispatchers then advised that a suspect then traveled to the victim’s home to pick up the money in person. The suspect has been described as a white male who wears a face covering during the interaction.

The Pope County Sheriff’s Office asks residents to please be mindful of anyone that calls you demanding money be paid to them and especially anyone wanting to come to your home that you do not know.

How can these types of scams be avoided? If someone calls or sends a message claiming to be a grandchild, other family member or friend calling for a family member desperate for money:

  • Resist the urge to act immediately – no matter how dramatic the story is.
  • Verify the caller’s identity. Ask questions that a stranger couldn’t possibly answer. Call a phone number for your family member or friend that you know to be genuine. Check the story out with someone else in your family or circle of friends, even if you’ve been told to keep it a secret.
  • Don’t send cash, gift cards, or money transfers– once the scammer gets the money, it’s gone!

For more information, read Family Emergency Scams. And if you get a scam call, report it to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.