Threatened with her arrest and a $3,000 fine — Caitlin Brown never expected getting a call from the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office…at least that’s who the caller ID said it was.
“When this type of thing happens that logical part of your brain shuts down and for me, I was like how am I going to pay the money,” said Brown.
It was a question she never thought she would have to answer and thankfully never did.
After being threatened by a man who claimed to be a deputy, with a warrant for her arrest for not showing up for jury duty twice; the scammer’s story fell apart when Brown and her husband started asking questions.
“What’s your badge number and can I speak to your supervisor and he became increasingly argumentative with us and ended up hanging up,” said Brown.
The scammer had used spoofing software to make it look like he was calling from a different number than the one he was actually using. The software is readily available online.
Back in May 2018, the Cortland County Sheriff’s Office put out their own warning about an identical scam involving their office.
“The fact that they can mimic that and somehow call as if they are calling from that department. They can really scam a lot of people because I believed it,” said Brown.
When NewsChannel 9 reached out to the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office, they said this wasn’t the first time they’d heard of it, but deputies said they will never call and ask for money.
In hindsight, Brown is grateful she didn’t hand over any personal or bank information and wants others to know, it’s better to ask questions than assume the person on the line is who they say they are.
If you have fallen victim to a scam call and given out any information — make sure you contact law enforcement. The best advice for avoiding scam calls is to simply hang up.