EDWARDSVILLE - The Madison County Sheriff's Office sent a notice out to residents about a telephone scam alert today.

"Residents in Madison County have recently been targeted by fraudsters identifying themselves as members of the Madison County Sheriff's Office," Madison County Sheriff's Office Lt. Kris Tharp said. "In fact, they have even identified themselves as a few of our captains here at the sheriff's office. The scammers proceed to tell the target on the other end of the phone that their is a warrant for their arrest. Options are presented to quash or take care of the warrant by means of payment.

"The payment options usually involve a prepaid credit card option or something similar. Should you get a call such as this immediately discount this call. We (the actual Madison County Sheriff's Office) will never call you and inform you that you have a warrant and then ask for you to pay us to remedy the situation over the phone. We have a much more sophisticated way to handle the situation if you do have a warrant. We will arrive at your home in a fully marked sheriff's office squad car and knock on your door in full sheriff's office uniform to deliver such news. Rest assured calls such as this are a fraud. Do not fall victim to this scam."

Lt. Tharp continued: "If you get a call like this and for some reason, you are convinced it may be legitimate, still hang up immediately and proceed to contact your local police department or the sheriff's office for clarification and reassurance. Please share this message and have conversations with friends, neighbors, and loved ones about this scam.

"It is intended to scare the recipient into paying their hard-earned money to heartless criminals who live far-far away. We assure you our captains are very nice guys and would never do such a thing. Be informed and be aware. When we work together we are better."

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