HOLLY SPRINGS, Ga. - As soon as she heard the message on her answering machine, a Holly Springs woman said she knew it was a scam.
"They want money," said Cheryl Shirley. "They want you to believe that they are who they say they are and to scare you."
A man, who identified himself as a Cherokee County sheriff's deputy, left a voicemail on Monday evening claiming he was calling about a warrant and needed the call returned as soon as possible. Shirley called back and recorded the entire conversation.
"I wanted to just kind of play with him to let him think that he was [going to] get the money, to scare me into sending him the prepaid cards and just to mess with him and have some fun," Shirley explained.
In the recorded exchange, the man is heard threatening to jail Shirley if she does not comply. Later the man on the line insists Shirley missed jury duty and has a bench warrant for her arrest. He claims the only way to take care of the problem is for Shirley to buy more than $500 in PayPal My Cash Cards to provide proof of bond funds.
"I really think it's a fear factor because most people who haven't even heard of these types scammers they hear jail time, they hear a warrant and they get afraid," said Shirley.
Instead of bending to the man's demands, Shirley questioned the process.
"Well can I not take it in to the courts myself?" She asked.
"No, ma'am," he said. "We have to do it over the phone, OK?"
"That makes no sense. I'm sorry," Shirley reasoned.
The man finally hung up and Shirley posted the video of the entire exchange on her Facebook page to help educate her friends and family about the con.
The Cherokee County Sheriff's Office has also tried diligently to warn people about these types of scams by posting on their Facebook page:
"No matter how legitimate it sounds, even if they have personal information about you (that anyone with internet access can find), even if they give you a name of a real Cherokee Sheriff's Deputy, and even if you hear background noise on the other line like a police radio IT IS STILL A SCAM. If you are scared or confused that it may be a real deputy or IRS employee (which it is not) you can call 911 and a dispatcher will confirm this is a scam."