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Montco Officials Warn Of Phone Scammer Posing As Deputy Sheriff

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(THE REAL THING.  Montgomery County sheriff Eileen Behr, right, and deputy John Austin, left.  Credit: Brad Segall)

(THE REAL THING. Montgomery County sheriff Eileen Behr, right, and deputy John Austin, left. Credit: Brad Segall)

Brad Segall Brad Segall
Brad Segall is the award-winning Suburban Bureau chief at KYW...
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By Brad Segall

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — The Montgomery County sheriff’s department is warning area residents about a phone scam in which the caller identifies himself as a deputy sheriff looking for personal information.

The Montgomery County district attorney’s office is currently investigating at least two calls that were made to county residents in which the caller, identifying himself as a member of the sheriff’s office, demands the answerer’s Social Security number, date of birth, and address.

The Montco sheriff’s department says this is not how they conduct business, and they would never ask for personal information over the phone.

“The caller says there’s a warrant for your arrest, please call detective so-and-so, we need some information from you or we’re going to come arrest you,” says deputy sheriff John Austin.

Both times the caller was described as having a heavy accent and identifying himself as Deputy Thomas O’Brien.  There is nobody by that name in the department.

“They’re very aggressive,” Austin, the genuine deputy, warns.  “They tend to yell at people if they don’t give them the information, and people get taken aback by that.   And again, that’s not how a professional law enforcement organization would conduct business.”

He says the elderly are especially susceptible to these types of scams.

If you get a call demanding personal information, Sheriff Eileen Behr says, don’t worry about being polite — hang up immediately and call your local police department.

The information about the apparent identity theft scam has also been passed along to the FBI.

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