Phone scams impersonating Wayne County Sheriff's Office have stolen thousands from victims

Wayne County Sheriff Raphael Washington is putting out a warning about scammers impersonating deputies.

He says thieves are impersonating members of his office -- even using his employees' real names. So Far Washington says the criminals have stolen thousands of dollars from dozens of victims.

"They use so much technology and we follow it as far as we can - sometimes it leads to a dead end," Washington said. "If we get it early enough sometimes we have the fortune of being able to track someone down."

Washington says the thieves will call from a number that appears to be the sheriff's office - but it isn't. The scammers tell victims they have an outstanding warrant or have missed jury duty, then the criminals ask for money.

"I think they are definitely playing off of people's emotions - especially when they start targeting our seniors who are the most vulnerable of our population," he added.

Washington says if you get one of these calls don't give out money— or your personal information. He says just hang up.

"We just want citizens to know law enforcement will not contact you," Washington said. "The Wayne County Sheriff will not contact you by phone, or any other measure really, telling you that if you don’t do something, that we’re going to come out and we’re going to lock you up."

As for the bad actors — Washington has this message:

"You need to stop," he said. "We are going to make the citizens be aware of what’s going on. And then secondly, we’re going to try to track you down."