Phone scammers impersonate Pennington County law enforcement demanding money

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Pennington County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Lt. Chris Hislip

RAPID CITY, S.D. – The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office warns of scam callers representing themselves as law enforcement.

In particular, Sgt. Jason Mitzel from the Warrants Division. While Sgt. Mitzel is an officer with the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office he does not work in the Warrants Division. The caller allegedly leaves a message asking the victim to return their call to resolve a court action.

The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office generally does not collect warrants or fines over the phone. Warrant fees must be settled in person.

“We see this as a consistent issue this isn’t something that has just spiked. What we advise is for the public to scrutinize any phone call that they are not expecting. So sometimes law enforcement does call to inform folks of minor warrants and things that they need to take care of. But if they receive a phone call like this, we advise if you’re skeptical, call us,” said Patrol Lieutenant Chris Hislip.

Anyone can confirm if they have an outstanding warrant on the Pennington County website.

Sequence 0200 01 12 03still002Callers asking for payment in the form of a gift certificate, gift card or to wire money should be a red flag.

“We are receiving reports where they are seeking information that law enforcement should already know. So that should raise a red flag. Never give any information given over the phone from an unsolicited phone call from somebody who’s posing to be somebody, because that will take a lot of time and effort to try and fix later on. And many times, once that information is out there, it’s hard to get it back,” said Lieutenant Hislip.

“If you were to accidentally give out that information, we do request that you file a police report, number one, so we can follow and track that and investigate that and maybe help prevent it from happening to someone else. many banks and and credit cards will require a police report to be filed anyway,” he said.

He advises that the best thing you can do is do not give out any information at all, hang up and call law enforcement directly at (605) 394-6117 or (605) 394-2151.  If you have given out personal information the Sheriff’s Office recommends putting a freeze on your credit.


Categories: Crime, Local News, South Dakota News