Mercer County police warn of scam asking for gift cards to wipe warrants

Local News

MERCER COUNTY, Ohio (WANE) — Police in Mercer County have issued a warning to residents about a scam in which a caller says the person has a warrant for their arrest for missing jury duty, but they can erase it if the person buys them gift cards.

The Mercer County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday that a “potential scam” was circulating in the county.

Here’s how it works:

Callers are advising that they are receiving phone calls from a person claiming to be a “deputy” from our office stating that they missed jury duty on August 5th, 2021 and that there is now a warrant for their arrest for failure to appear. The scammers then tell the victim that they need to go to Walmart and buy 4 gift cards that start with a certain number on the card.

The scammer will then request the card number and tell the victim that they will take care of the warrant for them. In some cases, after the card numbers are given to the scammer, they tell the victim that the last card did not go through and now there are additional warrants on that person’s name and request another thousands of dollars’ worth of cards.

People are being told that if they call our office to check the validity of this, they will be arrested. This is not true. The Mercer County Sheriff’s Office would NEVER ask for money or gift cards to clear a warrant; nor will you be arrested if you call our office to check the validity of the accusations.

The sheriff’s office said anyone who receives such a call should hang up immediately and call Mercer County central dispatch at (419) 586-7724. The calls generally come from a (419) area code but are likely cloned from actual numbers, the sheriff’s office said.

“As a reminder, never give out personal information over the phone,” the sheriff’s office said.

To check if you have an active warrant in Mercer County, visit the sheriff’s office website HERE.

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