Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office warns of new scam affecting the area

A caller impersonating a member of county government or law enforcement has been threatening arrest to victims if he or she does not pay a made-up amount of "owed" money. Photo by Flickr user Philippe Put

Buncombe County Sheriff Van Duncan posted a video recently informing county residents of a scam being repeatedly reported across the area.

The scammer primarily calls individuals, yet it seems some have reported getting letters in the mail, “telling them that they missed a jury summons date or that they owe the IRS money,” and that “they need to pay the money immediately or law enforcement will be coming out to arrest them.”

Sheriff Duncan says that the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office and 911 operators have received a few calls now regarding this false threat, and residents should be advised to ignore any phone calls asking, demanding or threatening arrest for money that claim to be from Buncombe County government.

“There is absolutely no validity to this whatsoever,” the sheriff states. “If somebody calls you and tries to collect money, [saying they’re] from any government entity at the threat of arrest — [know] that [neither] the IRS nor the Sheriff’s Office call and give you an opportunity to pay … any kind of fee or fine that would result in you being arrested.”

Sheriff Duncan warns that these calls sound very realistic, and that the caller may claim to be a real member of a government office, but, he assures that “these things are bogus and a scam.”

If you receive a suspicious phone call or letter in the mail that sounds like it could be part of this scam, please contact the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office at 250-6700.

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About Hayley Benton
Current freelance journalist and artist. Former culture/entertainment reporter at the Asheville Citizen-Times and former news reporter at Mountain Xpress. Also a coffee drinker, bad photographer, teller of stupid jokes and maker-upper of words. I can be reached at hayleyebenton [at] gmail.com. Follow me @HayleyTweeet

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