Recent scam targets registered sex offenders

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 4, 2022

SALISBURY — The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office warns that anyone who is a registered sex offender should be aware of a recent scam targeting them.

The office received a report from an individual about two phone calls he received.

In the first, the caller identified themselves as a Rowan deputy and said there was an arrest warrant out for the man. According to the complaint, the caller said a new law was passed Jan. 1, 2022, requiring a new DNA sample.

Because the man had not complied, a judge had allegedly issued a warrant for the man’s arrest. No such law was passed.

The man was instructed to stay on the line until he reached 232 N. Main St., where he would be served with the warrant.

When the man began to ask who the deputy or deputies were that were handling the case, the caller gave two correct names of deputies, but not the correct names of officers that oversee the sex crimes and sex offenders portion of the department.

In the second call, the man said the caller insisted a judge had issued a $45,000 bond and told the man he needed to visit a particular website to pay the bond or he would be arrested at his home. That caller claimed to be a detective Adams, but there is no Rowan County Sheriff’s Office deputy by that name. And the man reported the second caller reached him via his daughter’s cell phone, which was not part of any public records belonging to the man.

“We would not handle any of this in this manner,” said Maj. John Sifford. “We would not call on an outstanding warrant and that is never how bonds are paid, nor are they ever paid with prepaid or gift cards.”

Sifford said registered offenders are likely targeted because their information is a matter of public record, and anyone who gets calls of a similar nature should reach out to Detective Ashby at 704-216-8772 to file a report or inquire if there is an actual issue.