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Watauga County Sheriff’s Office logo

WATAUGA — The Watauga County Sheriff’s Office is warning the public about an over-the-phone scam that has been reported to the agency by community members.

According to WCSO, the scam caller claims that they are a grandchild or family member, and that something tragic has happened. The incidents described have included car wrecks, drug incidents or even cases involving death.

The caller then asks for bail money through the form of gift cards or a Walmart money transfer, sometimes claiming they need to pay immediately.

WCSO Captain of Investigations Carolynn Johnson noted that victims who question the validity of the call have been threatened. She added that no part of the judicial process involves judges, attorneys or bondsmen taking money over the phone via gift cards or Walmart money transfers.

If community members are called with a scam of any kind, it is advised that they hang up and call the WCSO or any other law enforcement agency who serves the jurisdiction they are in. WCSO stated that any money lost cannot be recovered.

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