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Scam artists ‘spoofing’ Kentucky law enforcement phone numbers, posing as officials

Campbellsville woman says she was on receiving end of a scam call on March 15
Published: Mar. 17, 2021 at 12:31 AM EDT
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CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – Scam artists are using Kentucky law enforcement phone numbers to solicit payouts from unsuspecting residents.

A Campbellsville woman told WAVE 3 News she was on the receiving end of a scam call March 15 that she first thought was a call from the Taylor County Sheriff’s Department.

“By the time I realized what was actually going on, they had my money,” Jetona Milby said. “The details and the specifics made it that much more believable.”

That scam artist told Milby, a licensed therapist, that she had been called as an expert witness in a court case but failed to appear and now faced a penalty.

“In my mind, I’m thinking someone has subpoenaed me at my previous residence and I failed to appear in court today, it was believable,” she said. “They said that the judge was issuing two citations, that each came with a hefty fee.”

Milby was told she would be arrested if she didn’t pay for the bogus citations immediately.

While she had her doubts, Milby said she complied with the scam artist’s requests. She drove 40 minutes to her bank, withdrew funds, bought several prepaid money cards and recited the card information to the scam artist before the call concluded.

Taylor County Sheriff Allen Newtown told WAVE 3 News that law enforcement will never ask for any kind of payment over the phone.

“They just need to tell them they’ll get back with them hang up, don’t give them any information, call the local department they say they’re with,” he said. “Let them be aware because that’s not how the system works.”

Newton said he recently posted a warning on Facebook after multiple reports of scam artists “fraudulently calling and using the Taylor County Sheriff’s Department phone number.”

Milby expressed her hope that others could learn from her mistake and know the red flags to watch out for.

“In hindsight, it’s like this element of making me feel trapped and like I didn’t have options,” she said. “If it doesn’t feel right, ask the questions you need to ask to feel okay before proceeding.”

The Better Business Bureau has reported a rise in scams amid the pandemic. The BBB is currently warning consumers to be aware of scams targeting stimulus checks and tax returns.

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