KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Sevier County Sheriff’s Office urges members of the community to be aware of a phone scam active in the area.

Scammers claim to be members of the sheriff’s office, referring to the community member by name. The caller will tell the member the call is being recorded, tell the member they missed a court appearance and/or jury duty and/or state there is a family emergency and request to be contacted at another number.

The caller will state they need money and a warrant will be issued for their arrest or they may turn themselves into jail if they are not paid. Scammers will pose as legitimate law enforcement agents and use their phone number to attempt to gain a victim’s trust.

The Sevier County Sheriff’s Office reminds members of the community to be aware of:

  • No government agency takes gift cards as payment.
  • The SCSO does not call individuals and demand/request money under any circumstance.
  • The SCSO or any other legitimate law enforcement agency does not call seeking payments for outstanding traffic citations or warrants including claims of unpaid federal or state taxes.
  • Scammers trying to collect debts may try to instill fear into potential victims to persuade them to pay.
  • Never give personal or financial information to an unsolicited caller or email.
  • Be suspicious of callers who demand immediate payment for any reason.
  • Keep yourself private, regularly update privacy settings for social media sites.
  • Never wire money or provide debit/credit card numbers to a stranger.

If you fall victim to these scammers, you are encouraged to file a report by calling the SCSO non-emergency line at (865) 453-4668.