Okemah News Leader Editor’s Note
While this article deals with Oklahoma County, the same series events happen in Okfuskee County. Please call Sheriff Rasmussen if you receive one of these calls. Sheriff Rasmussen can be reached at the Okfuskee County Sheriff’s Office. 918.623.1122
Pro Tem Treat, Oklahoma County Sheriff Johnson Warn Oklahoma County Residents About Scams Impacting Oklahoma County Residents
OKLAHOMA CITY – Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat joined Oklahoma County Sheriff Tommie Johnson III today to warn Oklahoma County residents about scams impacting area residents, after he was the target of a scam.
Recently, the pro tem received a fraud phone call from someone who claimed to be with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office. They said he failed to appear in front of an Oklahoma County judge.
Before the call could escalate, Treat told the individual he knew Sherriff Johnson and was going to call him. The individual hung up the phone after that.
“I am fortunate to have the luxury of knowing Sheriff Johnson as a personal friend,” Treat said. “Not everyone is so lucky. If anyone else would have received the call I did, it wouldn’t have been out of the realm of possibility to become a victim of a scam. The individual had my name, home address, identified a real Oklahoma County judge who I supposedly missed a hearing in front of and became aggressive when I started questioning him. That is why I wanted to partner with Sheriff Johnson on this announcement, to warn Oklahoma County residents and help them recognize the scams that are going around and how they can protect themselves and their loved ones from becoming a victim.”
Sheriff Johnson said his office has seen an uptick in recent weeks in the number of individuals in Oklahoma County becoming victims to this type of fraud.
“These scams are devious and take advantage of every day, ordinary citizens,” Johnson said. “The frauds are continuing to advance and become harder to spot. Just like Pro Tem Treat, we have heard from attorneys, doctors and dozens of other individuals who have succumb to this type of law enforcement scam and turn over credit card or bank account information, losing hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars. “I appreciate Pro Tem Treat for standing up and his willingness to talk about this kind of thing. The more light we can shed on this, the better.”
Sheriff Johnson said this scam is reaching people nationwide and wants to remind people that the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office will never call an individual to collect fines, fees or offer reduced payment methods, especially via gift card.
The Sheriff’s office is offering the following tips on how to avoid law enforcement scams:
- Never give your credit card to someone claiming to be with the sheriff’s office over the phone;
- Never agree to pay via gift card;
- Don’t give in to bullying tactics by someone claiming to be with the sheriff’s office;
- Talk to your family about this scam;
- If you receive a call like this, hang up and call the actual sheriff’s office and ask to speak with someone.
If individuals become a victim of this scam, immediately contact the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office at (405) 713-1000.