A Madison woman is out nearly $700.00 after falling victim to a scam that’s been plaguing the area for years.
The telephone scam involves men claiming to be with the Dane County Sheriff’s Office, who tell the victim they have a warrant for their arrest. In this particular case, they told the victim she had missed jury duty.
The scam has become very elaborate; they have been known to use names of actual deputies, and they spoof telephone numbers used by the sheriff’s office. To the average citizen, they sound very knowledgeable and use official terms, making the whole thing appear completely legitimate.
But here’s where red flags should come up for anyone getting one of these calls: They will ask you to pay a fine using a “green dot money card.” These are prepaid cards that you get at a drug store or convenience store. According to the sheriff’s department, law enforcement will never ask you to pay a fine in this manner, and will never contact you by telephone to pay a fine.
This victim realized a day or two after paying their “fine” that she had been scammed, and filed a report with the Madison Police Department. After taking a closer look at the green dot money cards, she noticed a warning printed right on the card that said, “They cannot be used to pay taxes or warrants.”
These cases are extremely difficult to investigate, as the scammers spoof telephone numbers that are untraceable. To help put these impersonators out of business, spread the word about this scam. According to the sheriff’s department, the only way to completely stop this from happing is to educate the public on their tactics, so that no one else falls victim to their money making scheme.