Scam reported using Sheriff’s Office phone number

SIDNEY — In the past month the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office has received several calls regarding calls citizens have received from the Sheriff’s Office’s non-emergency number of 937-498-1111.

“The callers identify themselves as deputies, detectives and or lieutenants with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office,” said Shelby County Sheriff John Lenhart. “They then tell the person they have called that they failed to show up for the grand jury and that a summons was issued for their appearance. They then tell them that since they didn’t show up there has been a subpoena issued for your arrest.

“They then go on to tell the person that they can avoid arrest by paying a fine and Court cost. If you agree, they then ask you to go put the amount of money on a prepaid credit card,” he said.

The callers have been using the names of Detective Hughes and Detective Miller, one of the numbers they have been known to call from is 937-853-8902. One of the people called even told the caller that it was a scam and after hanging up they received a call from our non-emergency number of 937-498-1111, which made them feel the call was real.

“If the courts were to issue a warrant for your arrest then an arrest is what will happen, no Deputy or Officer will ask you to pay money in lieu of arrest. So please remember, no one will ever ask for money in lieu of your being arrested,” said Lenhart.

There are programs and apps that allow a person to appear to be calling from a number they are not calling from, said Lenhart.

“So if you receive a call from 937-498-1111 and you believe the call is not legit, then hang up and call the number back,” said Lenhart. “You will receive an automated announcement directing you to the section your trying to call. Our dispatch is 1 and when our dispatcher answers they will identify themselves. Then you can advise them of the call you received.

“When you receive calls of this type, please do not give out any of your personal information and please do not agree to give them any money. If you feel it is a scam then call your local law enforcement agency to report it,” concluded Lenhart.