WILSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Mt. Juliet man is sharing his story after he was scammed $3,500 from a spoofing call.
The call appeared to be from the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office’s non-emergency line. The caller claimed he was a sheriff’s deputy.
“My first thought it was not legit,” Bill Berry said.
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When Berry called back, the caller said his wife, Sandy, needed to be brought into the sheriff’s office because she failed to report to jury duty.
“When I got on the phone with them here at the house, they told me I can’t hang up that I needed to maintain contact with them at all times or they would send a car out to find me and they would track me until I got into the sheriff’s office,” Berry said.
The caller even stated their address. Berry said when he got into the car he was instructed to go get $3,500 worth of gift cards or his wife could go to jail.
“They said well Lowe’s is pretty close to you, go to Lowes and get a card there. And I said ‘do they sell them?’ and he said ‘it’s at the end of aisle five,’” Berry said.
The caller then asked for the numbers on the gift cards. Afterward, they stayed with him on the phone until he pulled into the sheriff’s office parking lot.
“And as soon as I pulled into the sheriff’s office. They hung up—when I actually walked into the sheriff’s office I said ‘here are the cards’ and the deputy said ‘oh I’m sorry sir, but you’ve been spoofed.’ And I didn’t breathe for a minute or two,” Berry said.
“A lot of scammers who try to use the identity of the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office will use specific employees that work here, I’ve had my name used,” said Capt. Scott Moore with the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office.
According to Moore, it’s a common crime. Meanwhile, Berry said he hopes to share his story to warn others, adding that his biggest priority was making sure his wife wasn’t in any danger.
“Yes, I was willing to do whatever I needed to do, and if someone doesn’t understand that then I am not the person with the problem,” Berry said.
Moore suggests in order to not fall victim to download a spoofing app that can identify scammers. He also recommends that you always look up the sheriff’s office number and call to authenticate
“It is a very difficult situation to investigate because a lot of times these scammers come from overseas, they spoof the numbers, so it is very, very difficult,” Moore said.