TALLADEGA COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — A local scammer is speaking out.
The Talladega County Sheriff’s Office posted a warning Wednesday that a scammer has been identifying himself as a deputy in an effort to extort money from local residents. The scammer making the calls falsely identifies himself as “Deputy Josh Tubbs.” Police said that the number he calls from is (256) 290-1399.
The scammer tells people that they have failed to show for jury duty and that a warrant has been issued for their arrest, police said. After that, he tells them to stay on the phone and bring $3,000 in gift cards to an Oxford address, which turns out to be a Lowe’s retail store.
Initial calls to the number by CBS 42 went unanswered, but in a voicemail recording, a person identified himself as a law enforcement officer.
“You have reached the office of Deputy Josh Tubbs with the Talladega County Sheriff’s Office,” the voicemail recording said.
Eventually, the alleged scammer returned CBS 42’s calls.
The man on the call admitted that he is not a deputy and said “I’m just trying to get me some money.”
“I hit somebody for $3,000 yesterday and $1,500 on Monday,” the man told CBS 42.
Asked whether he is taking advantage of people with the scheme, the man on the call focused on the identity of his victims.
“Actually, I don’t call regular people. And to be honest with you, there’s a lot of money in this. I’ve been doing this going on two years now,” he said. “I’m over a millionaire. But why stop if I know the money is just going to keep accumulating?”
CBS 42 asked the man on the call what he meant by not targeting “regular people.”
“I target doctors, teachers: people with good occupations,” he said.
Law enforcement in Talladega County has stressed that they will not solicit money from citizens over the phone.
“Please be advised that this is another scam attempt and that the Sheriff’s Office would never call and tell you to bring money, and certainly not gift cards or the like to another location, in order to make a warrant go away,” Sheriff Jimmy Kilgore said in a written statement.
Kilgore said that scammers often become active during the holiday season.
“Remember, should you receive a call of this type, or similar, always call your local law enforcement agency to verify its authenticity before becoming a victim,” Kilgore said.