Familiar scam with disturbing endgame?

Posted at 7:15 PM, Feb 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-03 22:15:37-05

A local woman said she received a strange phone call that felt like a familiar scam, but then came the twist.

A week ago, Laura Stansell got a voicemail on her landline. A man claiming to be Christopher Wallace from the sheriff's department told her to call back immediately.

She quickly returned the call.

"He said I had missed jury duty and there was a warrant out for my arrest," said Stansell.

Despite being skeptical, Stansell called the man convincing.

"He gave his badge number, the name of the judge who issued the warrant and kept insisting he wanted no personal information," said Stansell.

Stansell said the man told her to go to the sheriff's department headquarters and pay the fine to avoid arrest.

"Didn't specify how, he just said I had to pay the fines," said Stansell.

She said the man never mentioned how much she owed, instead focusing on when she planned on leaving her home.

"He asked me to verify on the recording I was headed down to the sheriff's department -- now," said Stansell.

Stansell told him she had to do some checking and ended the call.

She called the sheriff's department and found out "Deputy Wallace" did not exist. She believes the caller's endgame was to break into her home.

"The thought of someone watching my house makes me feel vulnerable and angry," said Stansell.

She gave 10News reporter Michael Chen his number and he called it.

A man answered, claiming to be Deputy Wallace. When Chen challenged him, "Wallace" told him to talk to his attorney Johnnie Cochran, O.J. Simpson's former attorney who died a decade ago.

After Stansell posted her story on social media, two others said they received the same call.

A lieutenant in the sheriff department's fraud team told 10News there are no reports of any burglaries. He also said deputies will never call to inform anyone of an arrest warrant.

Deputies said these cases are hard to solve because the man was spoofing his number, masking his true number on caller ID.