Sheriff warns of increase in scams during the holiday season

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 22, 2022

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) wants community members to watch out for scams this holiday season.
The sheriff’s office has received an influx of calls reporting scams. The most common scam circulating at this time relates to jury duty. Scammers are claiming to be with the “Forsyth County Sheriff’s Department” and call individuals to tell them they missed jury duty; the scammers are using official terms like “failure to appear” and “contempt of court,” as well as referencing specific deputies by name. Various names and ranks are being used by the scammer, including Sheriff Kimbrough. During the call, individuals are instructed to put an amount of money (usually well over $1,000) on a pre-paid gift card and then provide that card number to the “deputy” via phone and mail the card to an address.
In light of the holiday season, here are five signs of a scam to remember so your holidays remain peaceful and without additional stress:
1. The individual contacted you first. You never know who is on the other end of the phone.
2. The individual dangles bait — usually money.
3. The individual wants your personal information.
4. You have to pay them first.
5. You have to wire money or send gift cards.
As a reminder, never provide money via pre-paid money cards to individuals over the phone. The sheriff’s office never excuses a warrant for arrest in exchange for payment. Don’t be bullied into giving your hard-earned money to scammers.

If you are contacted by a “deputy” via the phone, and you are unsure if it is legitimate, ask for the deputy’s name and phone number to call them back on. Then call the sheriff’s at the non-emergency number at 336-727-2112 and provide the deputy’s name and phone number; it will be confirmed if it is a valid phone call from a deputy.

To report a scam, call the non-emergency number at 336-727-2112 and provide as much information as possible (“deputy” name, phone number, demands of the callers, etc.).