Horry County Sheriff’s Office warns of deputy impersonation, Bitcoin scam

Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 5:58 AM EDT|Updated: Mar. 29, 2023 at 11:01 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - The Horry County Sheriff’s Office says don’t be fooled by “deputies” asking for money over the phone.

The department says it continues to get reports of scammers impersonating deputies over the phone.

“These disgusting criminals have taken it a step further by spoofing our main line, which means when victims receive a call, it appears to be from 843-915-5450,” a statement from HCSO reads.

The Sheriff’s Office provided information from an actual phone call as described by a Horry County citizen:

A “sergeant” called and said the man’s wife didn’t show up for Federal jury duty, and therefore a warrant had been issued for her arrest.

He asked the caller where his wife had been summoned and was told 1301 Second Avenue in Conway. The closest Federal courthouse is in Florence.

The call was then forwarded to the “Finance Office” for instructions on how to post bail.

The “finance officer” gave instructions to convert a $900 fee into Bitcoin and send them the code.

The man told HCSO he asked the caller if he could pay in person at the courthouse, was told no and hung up the phone.

A “captain” called the man back and said he was considered non-compliant, and the repercussions would be much greater.

HCSO said he converted the money to Bitcoin, but before sending the code, listened to my gut and drove to the courthouse. It was there, he learned this was a scam.

Horry County Sheriff's Office

Chief Deputy Tom Fox says calls like this are more than likely fake as the Sheriff’s Office does not call people regarding jury duty.

“We don’t call people and ask for money. We don’t call people and tell people we’re going to arrest them, we knock on their doors if we’re going to arrest somebody. But you do not get arrested for failure to appear for jury duty. That has to go through a court process and a judge will summon you to court,” said Fox.

Stay with WMBF News for updates.