Area law enforcement, including the Madison County Sheriff’s Department, are receiving an increasing number of reports of fraud involving people misrepresenting themselves as law enforcement.

The scam typically starts as a victim receiving a call from someone identifying themselves as a member of a local law enforcement agency. The caller will tell the victim that there is an outstanding warrant for the victim and demand immediate payment to satisfy the warrant.

The caller ID on the victim’s phone may show the call as originating from the local law enforcement agency.

Often times, the victim will receive repeated phone calls from the same person demanding money. The caller attempts to increase the pressure on the victim as calls continue with increased threats of being arrested.

There are variations of this scam, with the callers identifying themselves as lawyers or collection agents, but they generally demand money on the threat of being arrested.

As a general rule, the Madison County Sheriff’s Department does NOT make calls to persons who have active arrest warrant, and certainly not repeated calls demanding money.

It appears that the callers are using digital technology to “spoof” or change their caller ID information to that of a local law enforcement agency where the victim lives. Because of the nature of this technology, it is extremely difficult to trace the call back to its source.

Persons who receive these types of calls are advised to do the following:

  1. NEVER give out personal information such as credit card or social security numbers to an unknown caller.
  2. Demand the name and a callback phone number of the caller.
  3. Keep a log of the calls received including date, time and the name of the caller.
  4. Report the calls to law enforcement. If there are outstanding warrants for you, you’ll be advised.

For more information, please contact the Investigations Unit of the Madison County Sheriff’s Department at 402-454-2110.

More information can be found at the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center at

Vern Hjorth, Madison County Sheriff