Most new scams are merely variations of older scam and today’s Scam of the day is one of those.  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is warning doctors, nurses and other medical personnel of a scam in which the targeted victim receives a phone call from the scammer posing as a deputy sheriff who informs the targeted victim that he or she has missed a court date where he or she was supposed to testify as an expert witness.  The scammer goes on to tell the targeted victim that he or she will be arrested unless they pay a fine by gift cards.  Of course, anytime you are asked to make a payment by way of a gift card, you can be confident it is a scam.  Gift cards are a favorite method of payment for scammers because they are impossible to trace.

The scammer then goes on to tell the targeted victim that the gift cards must be delivered in person to the judge at the local courthouse.  The scammer then insists that they stay on the phone with the targeted victim while he or she purchases the gift cards.  Then, before they can get to the courthouse, the scammer tells the targeted victim that the judge is not available at this time, but that the targeted victim can give the card numbers over the phone to the scammer posing as a law enforcement official.  Gift cards can be readily used online without having the cards in hand so providing the numbers to the scammer is all the scammer needs to access the gift cards.


No government agency accepts payments by gift cards.  It is a sad commentary that the IRS has had to post on its website that it does not accept gift cards.  Additionally, no law enforcement agency will demand a payment over the phone or you will be arrested.

This particular scam has fooled some people by using the names of real law enforcement officers and by spoofing the phone numbers of various law enforcement agencies so that the call appears to be coming from a real law enforcement agency even though it is coming from the scammers phone.  As I have often told you, it is a simple matter for a scammer to manipulate your Caller ID to make a call appear to come from whatever source the scammer wishes.  Trust me, you can’t trust anyone.

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