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Macomb sheriff's office warning of phone scam

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Posted at 7:11 PM, Feb 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-10 19:11:25-05

MACOMB COUNTY (WXYZ) — The Macomb County Sheriff's Office is warning of a phone scam that's cost residents thousands of dollars.

Two citizens, ages 63 and 33, have been hit in the scam. Investigators say the two people received phone calls from someone claiming to be from the Macomb County Sheriff's Office. The caller claimed that the two were in some type of trouble and they needed to purchase gift cards to avoid being arrested.

Investigators say the 63-year-old was contacted on Feb. 4. The caller described himself as Sgt. Bailey from the Macomb County sheriff's Office before telling the victim that he had failed to have his DNA filed for the sex offender registry. The caller asked for money to be sent from a kiosk at a local business. The victim told the caller that he couldn't locate a kiosk, that's when the suspect told him to purchase $3,500 in gift cards to avoid arrest.

The 33-year-old victim was called from the sheriff's office general phone number, which is 586-469-5151. Investigators described this as "ghosting" the sheriff's office's phone number so that it displays on the caller ID during a call. Investigators say it's a hack and the suspect was not inside the sheriff's office.

The victim was told to pay $3,000 immediately to avoid arrest. Th victim purchased $3,000 in gift cards.

The Macomb County Sheriff's Office will never call a member of the public asking for money or gift cards. If there is an arrest warrant for a person, they would need to post bond at the Bond Office inside the sheriff's office at 43565 Elizabeth in Mount Clemens.

Both incidents are being investigated.