This story originally appeared on 6abc.
Scams are not new, but one circulating in Bucks County, Pennsylvania is pretty brazen. And so far, the scammers have succeeded on more than one occasion.
“They just want to get money and don’t care who they hurt and what they do. They are a tornado and will destroy everything in its path,” said Bucks County Sheriff Fred Harran.
Authorities said scammers are calling victims and sending fake arrest warrants by email, claiming to be from the Bucks County Sheriff’s Office.
“The issue that we have is that it has their air of credibility because it has the court’s seal, judges name on it, and appears to come from the sheriff’s office. It’s very convincing,” said Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub.
“They are a little high-tech. They are able to spoof our number so when you call, it comes up on your phone caller ID it shows as the Bucks County Sheriff’s Office. It’s not us,” Harran said.
Authorities said they want money in the form of gift cards.
“People get scared. They think there is a warrant out for their arrest and they figure for $500, they can make it go away,” Harran said. “There’s not a warrant, and all you did was lose $500 and give some creep some extra money to take advantage of the next person.”
Authorities said about six people have been scammed in the last few weeks.
One victim was from out of state, with no ties to the area. And it’s feared there could be more victims.
The Buck’s County Sheriff’s Office said officers will not call for money.
“You can call us, come in here, our sheriffs come to your door. We don’t do things like this and we certainly don’t ask you to go to a store and buy gift cards and give us the codes,” Harran said.
Anyone who thinks they may have fallen victim to this scam is asked to contact authorities.