Florence officials warn against telephone hoax

Florence officials warn against telephone hoax

FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Reports of a telephone hoax have circulated in Florence County.

The following post was issued by the Florence County Sheriff's Office:

Florence County Sheriff's Office has received several calls over the past week regarding a telephone scam. The scam goes like this: The caller represents himself as a Florence County Sheriff's Deputy in the Warrant Division advising the answerer that there is a warrant for their arrest for failure to appear for jury duty, or some other reason, and unless $500.00 or some other amount is paid immediately, the answerer will be arrested and brought to the Florence County Detention Center. The caller then instructs the answerer to go to a local pharmacy or other business and purchase a gift card in the appropriate amount with a specific PIN number and the arrest warrant will be lifted.

One thing you can count with certainty; no deputy with Florence County Sheriff's Office will ever tell you that you can avoid arrest by paying him or her cash or by purchasing anything, especially a gift card. If you receive such a call, it is without question, a scam.

Arrest warrants and bench warrants are issued by courts, not by law enforcement. And if there truly is a warrant for your arrest, law enforcement MUST affect the arrest, unless the warrant is earlier lifted by a judge. No amount of money paid to the deputy will result in the warrant being lifted. FCSO is not a collection agency for the court.

In investigating the scam, it has been determined that the caller is not making the calls from the Florence area, and may not even be in the state. If you have any questions regarding such a call, please contact the Warrant Division at FCSO at (843) 665-2121, ext. 380.