LPSO: Don't fall victim to phone scam

LIVINGSTON PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Jessica Leglue once got a call from a collection agency demanding $1,400. "I either needed to give them my debit card number or I needed to go to the closest money gram place to send it to them," recalled Leglue.

The voice on the other end of the phone said she had to pay up or she was under arrest. "I'm thinking they can't just come pick me up. They have to give me more info," said Leglue.

Leglue refused to hand over any money and started asking questions about the company. She says the caller kept at it, dialing her number half a dozen times in one afternoon.

"Every time my phone rang, it was a different number, but the same person."

But it was the final call that left her stunned. The caller ID said it was the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office on the line. "They can alter their caller ID to make it look like it's coming from your local sheriff's office. Then they say we have a warrant and they'll be there in an hour to pick you up," said Leglue.

Leglue says they sounded legitimate, but soon realized it was a scam. "They start asking you to verify who you are. They'll ask address, birthday, they want you to verify all this. They'll ask for social security number and I'm like, 'Uh, no.'"

That's when she saw LPSO's recent Facebook post warning people not to fall victim and send money. "We don't believe these folks are operating within the state. We think it's out of state and we want to put a stop to it," said Lori Steele with LPSO.

Steele says several residents have reported getting a call from someone impersonating a deputy and demanding money. "If you get it and you have no clue what it's about, if they can't give you any more references or history or what they're trying to collect on, if they ask for a money gram, hang up," said Leglue.

Leglue wants to take the time to remind family of her experience and urge the public to be wary. "Y'all be careful. No legit company is going to demand you to send a money gram right then. That's just not how the process works."

"We don't want anyone to be out, so we're asking folks to be vigilant. Spread the word, let folks know this is happening, don't be a victim," said Steele.

If you or anyone you know has received a phone call like this, contact LPSP at 225-686-2241.

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