YORK COUNTY, SC - For months, we at the YCSO have warned York County citizens about scammers impersonating real deputies. Through a series of social media videos, we’ve shown the multiple attempts scammers made to use the real names of deputies to attempt to scam citizens. Most recently, a potential scam victim received a call from a person claiming to be York County Sheriff’s Sgt. Kevin Casey, claiming “urgent legal matters." The victim, realizing this was a potential scam attempt, contacted YCSO and the real Sgt. Casey about the incident. managed to turn the tables on a scammer who was impersonating him. Sgt. Casey launched a counter-attack, using a series of return calls to expose and ridicule the scammer’s fraudulent attempts.
Sheriff Kevin Tolson also took a firm stand against the scam, communicating directly with the fraudster during a social media video.
“You’re caught. Quit doing it,” said Sheriff Tolson to the scammer on the phone before being cut off. “Don’t give money to these scammers; we will never ask for money over the phone. If anything, we will send an officer to you explaining everything.”
Citizens should remain vigilant against scam attempts, and younger citizens should warn their older relatives about these types of scams. Those targeted are often older adults who are more trusting of authority figures like the police. Scammers use lots of different tactics—such as stories about grandchildren in distress, million-dollar prizes, missing jury duty, or unpaid fines—to try to steal people's money. Scammers may demand payment by wire transfers, gift cards, or mobile phone payment apps.
“Scammers prey on fear, ignorance, and boredom in the hopes that a potential victim is uneducated on sheriff’s office procedures. The YCSO does not use Venmo, CashApp, Zelle, PayPal, etc.,” said Sheriff Tolson. “We will never ask you for money. If you are in some sort of peril or trouble with the sheriff’s office, we will knock on your door.”
Scammers can be very aggressive and may attempt to keep you on the phone in order to keep the victim from hanging up to verify the claims with a real law enforcement entity. Scams often begin with an unexpected phone call or email from a scammer claiming to be a law enforcement officer and claiming you have an arrest warrant for an unpaid fine. Also, these scammers could offer a not-to-be-missed high return or guaranteed investment in shares, real estate, options, or foreign lotteries. While it may seem convincing, in reality, the scammer will take your money, and you will never receive the promised returns.
The best way to respond to a scammer is to hang up the phone. If the scammer calls back, ignore it. If you receive a text, do not respond and block the number. Next, call your local law enforcement agency to verify the claim and report the incident.