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JeffCo Sheriff’s Office warns of scams during tax season

From The Trussville Tribune staff reports

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office has put out warnings of scammers trying to fool people through phone calls and online sales. The sheriff’s office has noted that these scams are particularly active during the tax season.

Scams made through phone calls will try to trick people by posing as a county investigator and telling them that they’ve missed jury duty or a court appearance. The scammer then says that a warrant has been issued for their arrest unless they wire money or buy prepaid debit cards and sending the numbers.

“Sheriff Mike Hale reminds you that the Sheriff’s Office does not operate in this manner,” the sheriff’s office stated in a press release. “We will never call you to collect money for fines or warrants. The Sheriff’s Office does not collect money for fines or fees. These must be paid to the courts through the appropriate clerk’s office.”

Online, scammers create fake account on sales websites. Afterwards, they post ads for popular items for sale “with no intention of delivering the goods to the buyer.” Scammers will send emails to potential victims requesting extra money for shipping costs. When the money is paid, the scammer disappears without sending the victim anything.

Below is a list of tips provided by the sheriff’s office on how to spot a scammer:

  • Watch for ads with multiple misspellings and grammatical errors
  • Avoid heavily discounted items
  • Avoid advertisements that have generic product photos
  • Check and see if the same advertisement has been posted in other locations
  • If the advertisement seems to good to be true, it probably is

“The Sheriff’s Office also encourages you to use payment methods that protect against this kind of fraud,” the release said. “Some payment methods offer buyer protection that refunds your money if the item never arrives or is not what the seller advertised.”

Anyone who believes that they are victims of a scam can contact the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office at 205-325-1450.

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