The La Porte County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a scam that falsely uses a police officer’s identity to scam people out of money.
On Friday, a 71-year-old Michigan City resident told La Porte County police that a man impersonating La Porte County Sheriff’s Sergeant Tony Wallace gave him instructions to purchase gift cards. The impersonator called the victim and told him that he missed jury duty for “Judge Ferguson” and that the matter would be handled criminally or civilly. Police say the caller told the victim to get $1,000 worth in MoneyPak gift cards to keep the matter from being filed as a criminal offense. The victim would get a call later for the serial numbers and then he would need to go to the sheriff’s office to finalize a “civil bond”. The victim did comply and when he arrived at the sheriff’s office to finalize the paperwork, he found that this was a case of fraud.
The sheriff’s department warns residents that anything official from the sheriff’s office would be served in a document by a deputy sheriff after being issued by the court. Additionally, the sheriff’s office never requires payment by way of a gift card or wire transfer.
Sheriff John Boyd encourages anyone with a similar incident to speak with a deputy to discuss concerns. Call the La Porte County Sheriff’s Department to report any potential scam at (219) 326-7700.