Phone scammers persuade some in Gwinnett to pay non-existent fines

Phone scammers persuade some in Gwinnett to pay non-existent fines

Gwinnett County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating a scam in which people are duped into making sizable payments over the phone to people pretending to be deputies collecting fines.

The sheriff’s office has received a dozen reports of the calls in the last two weeks, that recipients say are made by people who have detailed knowledge of the sheriff’s office and are especially persuasive, Deputy Shannon Volkodav said.

At least four victims made payments as high as $900 after being told the payment would void an arrest warrant that has been issued because they failed to appear for jury service,Volkodav said.

Each victim, all women, advised that she received a phone call from someone identifying himself as “Lt. Pierson” from the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s warrants division and that to avoid arrest she could pay the associated fine using a pre-paid debit card, Volkodav said.

Three victims followed the caller’s instructions and purchased Green Dot MoneyPak cards as instructed in the amounts of $525.00, $810.00 and $962.00, which they used to pay the scammers, Volkodav said.

The system makes it very difficult to track down the con artists, she said. Similar phone scams have been reported throughout Georgia, some with slight variations, such as the caller claiming that the victim has not paid an outstanding traffic or parking ticket, Volkodav said.

If you have received a phone call of this nature, please contact the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office Investigative Services Division at 770-619-6655.

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