Investigators track North State phone scam to Georgia prison

Aug 19, 2014 6:25 PM by News Staff

The Shasta County major crimes unit has tracked a recent North State phone scam to a state prison in Georgia.

Sheriff's officials warned residents about a scam earlier this month in which a caller identified himself as a Shasta County Sheriff's Deputy and stated a warrant would be issued for their arrest if they didn't get a prepaid credit card.

The caller had a male voice with a southern accent and told victims they needed to go to a store and purchase a prepaid credit card of a specific amount. The victims were then told to give the card numbers to the "deputy" and the warrant would cleared.

Shasta County investigators tracked one of the cell phone numbers being used to Pelham, Georgia and then plotted the GPS coordinates of the call. Detectives were able to determine the call had originated from near or inside the Jimmy Autry State Correctional Prison in Pelham.

Shasta County investigators made contact with Georgia officials and it was determined that the calls were coming from within the prison. Georgia state officials and the United States Secret Service have taken over the investigation.

There are records of phone scams similar to this one occurring within the prison system across 11 states. In May of this year, a Georgia Correctional Officer and an inmate were arrested for their role in a similar phone scam.

The Shasta County Sheriff's Office would like to remind anyone who receives a call they deem suspicious to contact local law enforcement.


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