Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre is warning citizens of a warrant scam targeting our area. Several citizens reportedly received similar scam calls this week.
In this version of this scam, the caller poses as a deputy with the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office, even providing a false name and rank. The caller then informs the victim that he or she failed to appear for a Grand Jury, and threatens to issue a warrant if payment is not made immediately. The caller will then request payment via prepaid debit card, electronic money order, or gift card.
In reality, if you are required to appear in court, you would have been duly notified. It should, therefore, not be a “surprise” to learn you missed court. In the event you do actually fail to appear in court, a warrant may then be issued for your arrest, but the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office would not call demanding immediate payment. Also, should you choose to pay a fine or ticket by phone, those means of payment would not be accepted. You can only use a credit card or debit card when paying fines or tickets by phone to LPSO.
Like every scam, there are aspects of reality, but it also displays common signs of a scam. The demand for “immediate” payment by an incoming caller and the payment method (prepaid debit card, electronic money order, or gift card) are two signs of a scam. Other signs could include a caller asking you to send money to receive money or prizes, a caller using threatening or vulgar language, or someone calling from a department, but not giving the name of the company. Ultimately, if you are concerned the call may be legitimate, simply hang up and call the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office at (985) 532-2808. If the call is in reference to tickets, fees, or fines, you can call directly, (985) 449-4429. Do not call a number given to you by the incoming caller unless you verify it first.
We encourage you to call us BEFORE you send money if you have any doubt about the authenticity of the call. We would be happy to assist you to ensure you do not become the next scam victim. It is not necessary to report every phone scam, but if you lose money in a scam or receive threats of physical harm or violence, you should report it to the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office or your local law enforcement agency.