OLIVE BRANCH, Miss.– They call saying they’re law enforcement but the real cops say they’re scammers trying to get your money. A woman who got one of those calls wants you to know about the red flags that kept her from being a victim.
On Thursday, Army veteran Sheri Ledford said her phone rang and a man she thought was a police officer was on the line.
Ledford said the caller told her she missed a Jan. 3 court hearing as a witness in a molestation case. As a family nurse practitioner, Ledford thought the call could be credible.
“He gave me his full name, his rank.. the number that patched through on my phone was actually the Olive Branch Police Department and he also gave me his badge number,” she said. “He said that the judge had ordered a gag order on me and due to HIPPA I was to maintain confidentiality… I could not share anything with my husband.”
Ledford told the man she was on active duty at the time. He told her the signature was forged.
“In my mind, I have failed someone, I have failed my community so I was very hurt I was upset with myself but I knew I wasn’t even around to receive a subpoena,” she said.
That’s when the caller transferred her to a second officer to discuss the forgery.
Then after an hour, she was asked to go alone and bring a large amount of case to pay for her alleged federal offenses.
She said her husband intervened and questioned the credibility of the officers and the caller hung up.
“I think they were going to rob me definitely because he said the Walgreens would require me to have 6,000 dollars cash,” Ledford said.
The Olive Branch Police Department told WREG they have received multiple calls about an officer impersonation scam regarding court dates.
The police department posted a message on Facebook to remind people that they do not make calls of that nature, saying:
“It has come to our attention that some members of the community have received phone calls from a subject claiming to be employed by the Olive Branch Police Department and that the person has missed a court date. Please be advised that the Olive Branch Police Department does not make calls of this nature. If you receive a call like this, please contact our Criminal Investigations Division at 662-892-9400.”
“I want all my family and friends and neighbors to know you need to be careful and never ever go anywhere they ask you to take money.. it’s not safe, it’s a scam and it’s criminal,” Ledford said.
Ledford said she contacted both agencies involved but was not allowed to file a police report. She said the departments only made “note” of the incident.