Crime

March 10, 2014

Rock Hill Police warn of officer impersonation scam

Rock Hill police are warning about a new scam in which a mysterious caller claims to represent the police department and asks for money.

A man claiming to be “Lt. Gary Fields” from the Rock Hill Police called two women and ordered them to wire $300 from a CVS pharmacy to a bank account to avoid being jailed for not reporting for jury duty.

Trouble is, there is no Lt. Gary Fields working at the Rock Hill Police Department, authorities said Monday.

Police are now warning about a new scam that has already swindled two women out of $600 when a man convinced them they would have to cough up cash or risk arrest.

At about 4:30 p.m. Friday, a woman, 52, called police to report that she received a call from a man who identified himself as Lt. Fields, according to a Rock Hill police report. The caller told the woman that she had a bench warrant through “Rock Hill city court” for failure to appear as a juror. He told her the warrant was worth $300. He asked her to go to CVS on Celanese Road to send a “money pack” with a long account number attached, the report states. The woman had her husband send the money.

About an hour later, police spoke with a 31-year-old woman who reported that she had fallen prey to a similar scam. The details were nearly identical, down to the same CVS.

“I guess they felt like this is not quite right, something isn’t right about this,” Rock Hill Police Lt. Brad Redfearn said.

“We do not have an employee here at RHPD by the name of Gary Fields,” Redfearn added. “The second thing is, we’re not going to call you and tell you that you owe us money.”

Police do call people who have outstanding bench warrants, Redfearn said, but only to advise them to turn themselves in. More, police do not accept money. Any monetary transactions or outstanding fines are handled through the Rock Hill Municipal Court. Residents uncertain about an officer’s identity can call the police department and speak with a supervisor or the dispatch to verify the officer’s employment.

The number the caller used came from a wireless mobile number in Clarendon County. The Herald was unable to reach anyone on the line. A voicemail message says: “You have reached the warrants division. Leave your name, number, a brief message. If this is an emergency, hang up, dial 911.”

The message does not indicate a specific warrants division with a police agency or give the name of the man on the message.

“It’s probably not Gary Fields,” Redfearn said. “We’re looking for him.”

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