The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department is urging the public to not fall prey to a recent phone scam that is luring victims into purchasing iTunes gift cards to pay erroneous court fees. On Nov. 13 and 14, two separate victims purchased and provided suspects with over $5,000 in iTunes gift cards after being led to believe they were providing the cards to Sheriff’s Department officers to pay court fees.
In the first incident, a female suspect contacted a victim by telephone using a “spoofing” technique to incorrectly display that the phone number was being received from the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department (574-891-2100). After the suspect falsely identified herself as an officer with the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department, the suspect informed the victim that the had missed jury duty, resulting in warrants for their arrest. The suspect instructed the victim to purchase iTunes gift cards to pay court fees for not showing up for jury duty, totaling $2,050.
In the second incident, a male and a female suspect contacted a victim by using a “spoofing” technique to incorrectly display that the phone number was being received from the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department (574-891-3081). After falsely identifying themselves as officers from the Sheriff’s Department, the victim was led to believe that they had missed jury duty and needed to pay the department $3,000 in iTunes gift cards to avoid being charged with Contempt of Court. Suspects were able to secure the numbers off of the cards after the victim provided the information from the cards to the suspects.
The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department does not call to elicit payments over the telephone from the public and would never ask anyone to provide their banking information, credit card information, or to pay fines through the use of iTunes gift cards.
Anyone with information about these incidents or those who wish to report similar incidents, should contact the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department at 574-533-4151.