Sheriff warns of scam involving person posing as fake deputy

If someone calls claiming to be a deputy from the Jackson County Sheriff's Department demanding payment on a case, the real police say to just hang up the phone.

This past weekend, a Talent woman received such a phone call, the sheriff's department reported. The caller claimed to be Jackson County Sheriff's Deputy Bryan Duncan and said the department was owed money in a case. He said she would owe thousands of dollars if she didn't pay immediately.

The victim gave financial information linked to her Social Security benefits card to the caller and hung up, but later realized the call was an identity theft scam. She was able to cancel her Social Security benefits card in time, however, and did not lose any money, the sheriff's department said.

"The Jackson County Sheriff's Office will never call and demand money," the department said in a release.

The Social Security benefits card program was rolled out by the Social Security Administration as a pilot program about five years ago and is gaining popularity among seniors as a means for receiving their benefit payments, according to an independent prepaid card industry report published in 2011.

— Ryan Pfeil

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