News and Alerts

Don't Become A Victim

The Chester County Sheriff’s Office reminds everyone that law enforcement, or any other government agency, will NOT call, email, send a text message, or use social media, to ask for or demand purchase of any type of prepaid credit cards, ITunes cards, or ask for personal banking information, or to use “bitcoin” service, or any sort of funding website such as “Gofundme”. These types of communications are a scam! If for any reason you feel threatened and believe these requests are not genuine, do not hesitate to contact your local law enforcement agency or the agency the scammers are saying they are with by obtaining a verified phone number from an independent source. DO NOT USE the phone number provided by the scammers; you will only be calling the criminal back.
People who are illegally asking for funds will utilize multiple facets of technology such as the phone, email message, social media, and many others, even going as far as sending text messages to your phone in order to steal money from unsuspecting individuals. Scammers are relentless, very aggressive, and can be very convincing preying on a person’s fear such as they will either be arrested, punished by law enforcement, the IRS will be notified, one of their grandchildren is sitting in jail, and many other kinds of threats and intimidation to create panic in the person being victimized.
Do not become a victim of these criminals; verify every call before you ever provide financial information to ANYONE you don’t know and trust.

Local Scams

Here are just a few of the scams within our area being reported by our citizens.

Jury Duty
Scammers have contacted victims by claiming they are a deputy court administrator. The criminals tell their targets that they failed to report for jury duty and a warrant for their arrest has been filed which contains a fine of $1000.00, and to remain on the phone so police can track their location. Victims stated they could hear police radio communication in the background of the phone call. The criminal’s call-back number answers with a sophisticated message including names and titles of county employees. Court officials will only contact you by mail for jury duty, and will never call someone to demand they pay a fine.

Tax Bill 
The IRS stated that many people receive bogus notices designed to look like a real IRS CP2000 notice, which the IRS sends if information it receives from its sources does not match the information you reported on your tax return. The bogus notices often claim that you owe additional money because of provisions of the Affordable Care Act. The IRS will never:

  • Initiate contact with you by email or through social media. Never click on a link in an email that you do not recognize. It may be an attempt to steal your personal information.
  • Ask you to pay using a gift card, pre-paid debit card, or wire transfer.
  • Request personal or financial information by email, texts, or social media.
  • Threaten to immediately have you arrested or deported for not paying. 

Bitcoin Alert
 Bitcoin is “Internet money” also known as “virtual currency” that is paid “peer to peer”, which in this case is “victim to criminal”. The transactions take place directly between users of the Bitcoin system on the Internet. After you install a Bitcoin wallet on your computer or smartphone it will generate your first Bitcoin “money” and you can create more whenever you need it. You can disclose your Bitcoin addresses to anyone you wish to so they can pay you with Bitcoin or you can pay them.
 There is very little to no government involvement with Bitcoin, leaving behind little to no evidence to help with apprehension. Once you pay in Bitcoin, you are unable to retrieve your payment or to be refunded. 
Criminals will go so far as to embarrass their target by placing a letter at their home, addressed personally to them, stating that their “infidelity” has been discovered and that they must pay using Bitcoin to have the evidence destroyed and their infidelity kept a secret. This is another type of scam!

Straight from the Criminal's Mouth

These are only a few of the scams that are being reported. Scammers have used the following lines to try to trick people:

    • “We have a warrant for your arrest.”
    • “You missed jury duty or a court date, and must pay a fine.”
    • “Your (family member) is in prison and you need to bail them out.”
    • “You must act now, or the offer won’t be good after today.”
    • “You’ve won a free gift, vacation, or prize.” But you have to pay for “postage and handling” or other charges.
    • “You must send money, give a credit card or bank account number, or have a check picked up by courier.”
    • “You don’t need to check out the warrant (or company) with anyone.” The callers say you do not need to speak to anyone including your family, lawyer, accountant, etc.
    • “You don’t need any written information about their company or their references.”
    • “You can’t afford to miss this ‘high-profit, no-risk’ offer.” 

Imposters pretend to be someone you trust to convince you to send money or personal information. They might say you qualified for a free government grant, but you have to pay a fee to get it. Or they might send phishing emails that seem to be from your bank asking you to “verify” your credit card or checking account number. Don’t fall for it!