Montgomery Sheriff's name used in Internet so-called "scam"

Published: May. 16, 2012 at 11:22 PM CDT|Updated: May. 26, 2012 at 11:26 PM CDT
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Montgomery County Sheriff's name used to threaten victims in what he calls an Internet "scam"
Montgomery County Sheriff's name used to threaten victims in what he calls an Internet "scam"

MONTGOMERY CO., AL (WSFA) - Long-time Montgomery County Sheriff, D.T. Marshall would like nothing more than arresting the people who are using his good name in what he calls an Internet scam.

"I'd like to get them in the Montgomery County Jail", says Marshall, citing more than 20 cases across the United States.

Marshall says the scammers are calling victims, posing as the Montgomery County Sheriff.  They threaten them with an arrest warrant, unless they send money.  Marshall says the mindset is easy to recognize,  "They instill fear in this people.  I don't want to be arrested, so I better send money."

Corporal Kenneth Gordon is investigating the so-called scam for the Sheriff's Office.  Gordon puts it simply, "It's a scam, it's been a scam since the beginning."

Gordon confirms the people responsible are using a false number, or VOIP, "Meaning you could be anywhere in the world, using a specific number, calling and discussing your voice."

A victim from Columbus, Georgia, who wishes to remain anonymous agreed to share her story.

"He said he had a warrant out for my arrest, and they would arrest me that day if I didn't pay them $300.00.  I believed them at first because they were so good at it."

The group called this victim and her boss at least 20 times, even targeting her checking account.

"I feel very violated, I don't trust anyone on the computer anymore."

We then went directly to the source, and called the people responsible, using their Alabama phone number.  The operator answered, and I asked to speak with Sheriff Marshall.  After a few questions, the call was transferred.

"Thanks for holding, this is Sheriff Marshall."

The voice on the other end of the phone sounded nothing like Sheriff D.T. Marshall, interviewed earlier that day.  After a few pointed questions about the department's physical location, the call was disconnected.

Eventually, the man posing as the sheriff called back.  WSFA 12 News Reporter Jennifer Oravet identified herself, and her position.  "Sheriff D.T. Marshall in Montgomery County says you are engaging in a scam involving Internet fraud, is that correct?"  The man on the other line replied, "No", and ended the call.

The FBI and the Secret Service are now investigating the issue.  Until then, Marshall is pulling out all the stops to save potential victim's time and money.

Copyright 2012  WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.