Houston County Sheriff’s Office warns citizens of phone scam

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SCAM ALERT

DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — The Houston County Sheriff’s Office is warning citizens about a new phone scam.

According to an HCSO press release, the calls are coming from people outside of south Alabama and the United States.

“The caller identifies himself/herself as an agent with the Social Security Office, and that it has been brought to their attention that your Social Security Number has been compromised,” the release states. “The caller advises you that the Sheriff of Houston County knows about the potential compromise of your social security number and he backs up what they want you to believe is a legitimate transaction.”

The sheriff’s office said the caller will ask for the sheriff’s name and number for the office. They will then tell the victim to contact the sheriff and have him contact them so as to confirm the existence of the scammers.

Using this information, the real scam caller will call the victim with an imitation number from the sheriff’s office, asking for money.

“Houston County Sheriff Donald Valenza will not call you and tell you to put money on a green dot card, Target money card, Western Union, money order, cashier’s check or any other means of money transfer,” the release states. “Sheriff Valenza nor any of his staff will threaten you with arrest if moneys are not paid and/or transferred. IT IS A SCAM, SCAM, SCAM.”

Currently, the sheriff’s office is depending on other agencies for assistance on the matter since the calls are from outside the jurisdiction.

Valenza said that if you get contacted about sending money to anyone through “a gift card, green dot card, money order, etc.,” you need to contact the real sheriff’s office immediately and take protective measures.

“Hang up on them, block the number, Report them,” the release states.

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