The office of New Castle County sheriff has received reports of a scam involving people demanding money to avoid arrest.
A release from the county stated that the scammers claim they are sergeants and lieutenants at the office. Callers demand payment in gift cards that cannot be traced or are not subject to antifraud protections that can flag some shaky transactions.
For many Delawareans, the scam is quick to detect. Unlike most states, sheriffs in Delaware only serve court papers or handle real estate auctions.
A former sheriff in Sussex County sought law enforcement powers but was unsuccessful.
The scam is a version of the widespread use of callers who claim they are from the Internal Revenue Service or the court system and demand immediate payment.
Other variations include caller demanding payment of utility bills via pre-paid cards, the grandparent scam that claims a family member is in jail and needs money for bail, or the Windows monitoring department that claims your computer needs repair and seeks a credit card number.
In no case should a credit or debit card number be given over the phone, unless the identity of the caller can be determined.
Reports of such activity can be made to the Sheriff’s office at 302-395-8450 or to the New Castle County PoliceDepartment at 302.573.2800,City of Wilmington 302.654.5151, or theDelaware State Police at 302.739.5960.