Sheriff’s office warns scam calls targeting loved ones of J. Reuben Long Detention Center inmates

Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 8:00 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - Deputies with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office said they’re aware of several different fake calls going around and are sharing the latest scam call warnings.

A new scam call is asking family members of inmates to send money for a faster release. Conway resident Marvis Morant shared an example of one he received.

“This is Sheriff Williams calling on the behalf of a warrant,” he said.

The problem is the sheriff never calls people about outstanding warrants. Deputy Director of J Reuben Long Detention Center Susan Safford said if you get this type of call, you should hang up. She said the most recent scam call could tug on your heartstrings.

“This week we’ve had a few phone calls from family and friends of inmates where they’re getting phone calls from someone representing our facility and claiming that they can assist them in getting out of jail if they’ll send them money,” said Safford.

Morant got a fake call, and the caller insisted he missed federal Jury Duty, and then told him what to do next.

“On your way heading to the court, stop at a food Lion to send $900, and bring the receipt when you show up to see the judge,” said Morant.

Safford said there are several ways to recognize these fake calls, for one, the sheriff’s office will never ask for money over the phone.

“They’re making it look like it’s coming from our facility when it’s not, call the number yourself,” she said.

“Then the other issue that we’re having is where the friend or family member gets a call and they think it’s their loved one that’s calling.”

Safford said if you’re trying to figure out the Validity, ask specific questions that only you and the specific loved one would know the answer to.

Morant thought quickly, which saved him from potentially losing hundreds of dollars.

“I’m going to call my attorney, have them meet me at the courthouse,” he said. “After I said that, they hung up the phone.”

Safford said she knows others who have fallen for the call trying to help their loved ones.

“It really hurts because the fact that person’s in jail and probably does need some help and now the family or the friend has been scammed as well and so now, they may be out funds that they could have used to try to help this person get out of jail.”

If anyone has received any type of suspicious call or someone posing as the Horry County Sheriff’s Office or any other law enforcement agency is urged to report it immediately.