From Staff Reports

Sheriff Mike Hensley has issued a warning about a new scam that has arrived in the county.

“Please be advised that a telephone scam is circulating in the region where individuals are being contacted by scam artists posing as law enforcement,” Hensley said. “The intended scam victim will be told that someone in their family has been arrested and that they are being held in jail on a bond of usually a couple thousand dollars.”
Hensley said the caller will tell the victim that the process can be kept confidential if electronic payment of the bond is made via credit, debit, electronic check or green dot money card and that if the payment is made the individual will be released from jail. Oftentimes, the scam artist will have the name of a close friend or family member.

“Do not give anyone posing as law enforcement with the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Office any financial information over the telephone,” Hensley said.
If you are contacted and told that your loved one is in the Unicoi County Jail, please contact the jail directly at 743-1858 or dispatch at 743-1850.

“These are the only numbers that are affiliated with the confirmation of incarcerated individuals,” Hensley said. “In any event where an individual is arrested, you cannot simply pay a fee over the telephone to make bond. If you receive one of these calls, contact my office immediately and do not send money.”