The Dalton Police Department is warning the public not to fall for an apparent phone scam with a caller claiming to be a law enforcement officer. Investigators with the DPD and Whitfield County Sheriff's Office have received multiple reports of a caller claiming to be a lieutenant with the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office.
In one of the recent reported instances, a Dalton resident reported receiving a voicemail message from a man claiming to be a Lt. Steve Richards from the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office. The impersonator instructed the victim to call back at 706-299-7501. That number led to an outgoing recorded message claiming to be the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office and saying that due to a high call volume the call could not be answered. The message instructs callers to leave a message and their call would be returned by a deputy. The potential victim instead called 911 to ask if there was actually a deputy named Lt. Steve Richards and learned that the call was likely a scam. Dalton investigators learned that the number is actually registered in Jasper, Georgia.
Investigators do not yet know what the purpose of this phone scam is but they believe it is likely identity theft. In the past, phone scammers have identified themselves as officers or deputies from area agencies and demanded credit card numbers or to have money loaded on pre-paid “green dot” credit cards in exchange for the dismissal of warrants.
A law enforcement officer will never solicit money for the payment of fines or the dismissal of warrants over the phone. If you believe you’ve been contacted by a scammer or have any other information on this scam, please contact Detective Matthew Lowery at 706-278-9085, dial 9 and enter extension 133.