Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office warns public after phone scammers pose as local deputy

Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 9:11 PM CST
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COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (WOWT) - It’s not entirely uncommon for scammers to pose as law enforcement officers to scare victims into giving them money or personal information.

But the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office says it is uncommon when scammers start using the names of real deputies that work for their agency.

“We received several calls all within about five minutes of each other, so they were pretty active and they called several times to a lot of different people,” Deputy Jesse Windham said about the scammers.

“They attempted to say they were Cpl. Ferguson and needed money in order to not be arrested for all sorts of crimes or said that they had certain warrants out for their arrest,” Windham said.

On the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office Facebook and Twitter accounts, they posted a photo of Deputy Ferguson and a warning saying “We assure you that Deputy Ferguson isn’t calling any of you trying to solicit money.”

“It’s not very common for them to actually use someone’s name that’s working for an agency,” Windham said. “Oftentimes, they’ll say they’re special agent so-and-so or officer/deputy so-and-so but they don’t have an actual name or the name they give is false. This is the first one I’ve heard of where they actually used someone that works for our sheriff’s office.”

Pottawattamie County officials said if you’re ever suspicious of any phone calls where you’re being asked to transfer money or personal information, hang up right away and call your local law enforcement agency.

“I hope people understand that deputies and law enforcement as a whole would never call and solicit money over the phone, that’s not how we do things, that’s not how we operate,” Windham said.

If you have received a phone call like this, you’re encouraged to reach out to the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office at 712-890-2200.

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