Several residents have received phone calls from someone claiming to be a Beaufort County Sheriff's Office deputy and asking for their credit card information.
In the calls, the caller typically says the victim owes a fine for failure to appear for jury duty, according to a news release from the Sheriff's Office. The victim is asked to give their credit card information to pay the fine, or risk being arrested.
The fine amounts vary, as does the name of the deputy the caller claims to be.
According to the news release, similar scams have been reported recently across the country. The FBI has warned about this type of scam since 2005.
The scammers can be very persistent and intimidating, and may use legal or law enforcement jargon along with easily obtainable personal information about a victim to make them believe they are speaking to a deputy.
It's believed these types of calls originate outside of local jurisdictions and possibly outside of the country, according to the release.
The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office does not ask for financial information over the phone. Residents will not be asked to pay fines, debts, warrants or other civil process over the phone, by email, or any other unsecured communication, according to the release.
Anyone who receives the call should call the Sheriff's Office. Residents concerned that they may have an outstanding legal issue requiring payment can contact the appropriate offices of the Beaufort County Courthouse.
For more information, check the FBI's information on scams.