Scammer impersonating Craven County Sheriff's Office wants your money


NEW BERN, Craven County - An elaborate phone scam is making it's way around Craven County and police are warning residents around the local area to not fall for it.

Deputies are warning all local residents to verify any caller who claims to be from the sheriff's office after they received multiple reports of someone posing as an officer trying to scam people out of their money.

Officials said that they've received two to three reports of the phone scam so far. The caller claims to work for the Craven County Sheriff's Office or the court system and then proceeds to tell the victim on the other end that he or she has an arrest warrant for failing to appear in court for jury duty.

The scammer threatens that a deputy is on the way to arrest the victim, unless he or she agrees to pay a specified bond over the phone.

One New Bern man told NewsChannel 12 he almost fell for it.

"If I was at home and I would have done what they told me to do, I would have gone right down to right aid, gotten the four vouchers and by the time I got to the jailhouse, I would be less $1980 -- that's the scam," the man said.

Sergeant. Mike Sawyer with Craven County Sheriff's Office urges people who have been contacted by the scammer to call police right away. He said if you have doubts, call the Sheriff's Office to confirm.

"If you received this phone call and you want to check to see if it is legitimate that you have a warrant, you can always contact the sherrif's office directly and we'll be able to provide that information for you."

The man who received the scam call said the phone number did not look like other county government numbers, which raised a red flag for him.

Sergeant Mike Sawyer also said to look out for similar voicemails asking you to call back. The scammers set up a phone system to mimic the real Sheriff's Office with prompts for the jail, courthouse and dispatch.

Deputies said they'll never call ahead before making an arrest and they never ask for payments over the phone.