Stark County Sheriff's Office alerts public of phone scammer disguised as police sergeant

·3 min read

Jul. 13—STARK COUNTY, N.D. — At approximately 8 a.m. Wednesday, the Stark County Sheriff's Office received notice from several residents who filed complaints of a person calling on the phone that is claiming to be a deputy from the sheriff's office. This caller, who is asking for money or to be contacted regarding a legal matter, is a scam and people are advised to be cautious when answering the phone, the sheriff's office stated in a

public post

.

The individual is disguising themselves to be Sgt. Cameron Adkins from the

Stark County Sheriff's Office

and asking to be contacted regarding a legal matter.

"Number one, first and foremost, we don't have anybody by that name working at our office. Second of all, to my understanding, I don't know if he's asking for money; but if they are, number one, we don't ask for money over the phone," Lt. Eldon Mehrer noted in a phone interview. "... That being said, as I said in the posting, we may have a deputy to ask you to contact us regarding paper service or something like that. But that would be to set up some sort of a meeting to meet in person."

Mehrer said that there have been four different complaints as of Wednesday afternoon inquiring on the matter.

"We started getting a couple of callers and actually had one party stop into the office and talk to us about it," he said.

Mehrer addressed in the Facebook post that the Stark County Sheriff's Office does not solicit for funds over the phone and encourages the public to call the law enforcement agency directly or meet in person when it's regarding a legal matter.

"In a lot of these instances, I'm not aware of any law enforcement agencies that's going to ask you to send money over the phone. So if anyone is claiming to be a law enforcement personnel asking you to send money in any fashion — over the phone or via text or an email — that's not how we do business. And people should question that strongly," he said, adding, "... If they have any questions regarding someone contacting them, just hang up and call back, talk to someone in person or show up at the office and talk to someone in person."

Throughout the year, police departments experience these types of incidents and try to raise awareness on the risk of phone scams. Finding the person responsible, however, is a challenging legal battle, Mehrer added.

"They could be charged for fraud, theft by deception, that sort of thing. But unfortunately, in a lot of these cases, many of these callers are out of (the) country. And so, prosecuting them becomes very difficult," he said. "... In some cases, they're able to clone phone numbers. And so, an actual phone number may show up that seems legitimate. But there again, the key is that if they're asking for money over the phone, law enforcement does not operate that way."

For additional questions about the legitimacy of a phone call, contact the Stark County Sheriff's office at 701-456-7610 to speak with a deputy directly. People may also stop in at the sheriff's office located at 66 W. Museum Drive, in Dickinson.