Tompkins Sheriff: Beware! Resident Gets Scammed Out of $20K in Bogus Call


On Thursday, August 8 at 4:23 p.m., the Tioga County Sheriff’s Office received a fraud complaint from a county resident after receiving a phone call apparently from the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office.

It is believed that the Sheriff’s Office phone number was “ghosted” — making it appear that it was actually from the Sheriff’s Office. The called claimed to be a member of the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office and conned the victim into shipping $20,000 in cash to Chicago to settle a supposed arrest warrant.

The Sheriff’s Office is actively investigating this incident. It’s important to know that the Sheriff’s Office would never ask someone to mail money in this way.

From Cortland County Sheriff

The Cortland County Sheriff’s Office has been investigating several complaints involving a scam technique where both male and females have been calling the public and advising them that they are part of a police investigation and are going to be arrested for some type of crime or offense if they do not go purchase gift cards, send money to a desired location or, give the gift card numbers over the phone.

Typically, the scam begins with a male or female identifying themselves as a government law enforcement official and will provide a false name and or case identification number and requests that money be placed on a gift card of some sort. The caller then requests the numbers on the back of the gift card be provided to them. If this works, the caller will then begin to request US Currency to be sent to their desired location.

As a reminder, Law Enforcement Agencies will not contact the public and have them pay US Currency directly or have them purchase gift cards. If this happens to you or someone you know, you can contact your local Law Enforcement Agency.