Bedford County Residents Targeted In Convincing Phone Scam

Bedford County Residents Targeted In Convincing Phone Scam

CREATED Mar 18, 2014

by Jason Lamb

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. – At least eight people in Bedford County were targeted by a particularly convincing phone scam over the weekend, according to investigators. 

Officials with the Bedford County Sheriff's Department said a caller is told they have missed a summons for jury duty and must either pay a fine or be subject to arrest.  The caller is said to impersonate a Bedford County Sheriff's Deputy. 

Dana Curtis, a Shelbyville woman who fell for the scam, was taken for nearly $500.  She said the scammer did not have a foreign accent, and knew the physical locations in Shelbyville, including the location of the clerk's office in the county courthouse.

"I'm not one that I thought could be taken advantage of, but I was," said Curtis.  "I want that story out there."

Curtis thought it might have been reasonable to believe she had forgotten about a jury duty summons, so she offered to pay the Sheriff's Office money. 

Instead, the caller told Curtis to load a green-dot reloadable money card with nearly $500.

Even more concerning, Curtis said the caller wouldn't let her off the phone while she went to the Kroger in downtown Shelbyville to buy the card, again threatening her with arrest.

"(He told me), ‘we want to get this resolved as easily as possible, and if you hang up now you'll mess that up so I need you to stay on the line with me.  You and I will get to know each other.  We'll become friends through this,'" Curtis said the caller told her.

After calling a friend who works at the Sheriff's Office later that day, she realized she had fallen victim to a scam, but by then, the con artist had already stolen her money.

Officials said if someone calls you claiming to be from law enforcement and you're suspicious about it, you can always get their name and call the department to verify who's calling.

Back in January, the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office investigated a similar phone scam. 

While there is no word on whether the same person could be behind the scams, the Bedford County Sheriff's Office said if it is, they've likely moved on to a different county by now.

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