MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Scammers are trying to extort money from victims by pretending to be Shelby County Sheriff’s Office deputies, SCSO advised in a press release Saturday.

SSCO warned against providing any information to anyone claiming to be associated with the Courts of Shelby County, the sheriff’s office, or the Memphis Police Department.

They also advised residents of Shelby County to not leave their homes to meet these individuals at any location, and to not send any money.

According to SCSO, in one of the newest scams, scammers claim to be from a law enforcement agency and leave a number to call back. If a person calls back on that number, the scammer will not answer, instead a recorded message will play with a list of options.

The scammer now has an active number and a live person will call you to push various scams such as – an outstanding warrant, signature verification, or jury duty – and they will ask for money.

The sheriff’s office says it is important to remember that legitimate law enforcement agencies will not request payment for fines to be paid over the phone, nor will they ask for payments to be made using gift cards.

These scammers often use threats if they are not given correct information, but SCSO says that the safest thing to do is hang up the phone and dial the actual phone number for that organization to see if the call was legitimate.

Deputies are saying “Hang up and then verify.”

SCSO said that criminals are also scamming by using a technique called “check washing,” where they steal signed checks from mailboxes, then use common chemicals like nail polish remover, to remove the dollar amount and the name of the “payee,” or recipient.

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According to deputies, criminals are getting the checks or identification information by fishing mail out of U.S. postal boxes. They are looking for envelopes that appear to be either bill payments or checks being mailed.

The sheriff’s office is advising residents to drop checks off inside a post office instead of putting them in residential mailboxes.

If you have to report a scam, police say to contact law enforcement at 901-379-7625.