Lake Charles, LA –
Sheriff Tony Mancuso is warning area residents of a scam that has recently surfaced in our area.
Victims report receiving a phone call stating they have missed jury duty and they have fees associated with their absence that must be paid. The caller claims to be a deputy with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office and uses a name of a current CPSO deputy and then instructs the victim to meet them in the area of Pithon Street and Gill Street in Lake Charles. The suspect is then meeting the victim in person and giving a receipt for their “payment”. It has also been reported there is a similar variation of this scam where the suspect claims to be with the Calcasieu Parish District Attorney’s Office.
THIS IS A SCAM! Victims have reported the suspect on the phone to sound like a male of Middle Eastern descent. The suspect meeting the victims in person is described as a black female, petite build, with the tattoo “NOLA” on her hand. Yesterday, victims described her to have blonde hair, but today she has been described to have dark colored hair. Detectives have canvassed the area and attempted to locate and identify the suspects but have been unsuccessful.
Sheriff Mancuso wants residents to know that under no circumstance will a deputy ever ask for money or any form of payment in lieu of missing jury duty or for an active warrant. Sheriff Mancuso wants to remind residents of a few tips to use to avoid becoming a victim of a scam:
·Resist the pressure to make an immediate decision. Fraudsters create a sense of urgency to get you to act quickly.
·Verify the information before sending any money.
·Never send money based on a request made over the phone or in an e-mail.
At this time CPSO has received approximately 15 calls in reference to this scam, four of these calls the victims have had their money taken. If anyone has any information on these cases or believes they may have been victimized by these scammers, please contact the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office at 491-3605.