COOK COUNTY, Ill. — Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart is warning residents of a telephone scam where a caller posing as a Sheriff’s Office employee tells victims they must pay a hefty fine for missing court or they will go to jail.

According to deputies, the caller demands the victim must turnover funds via a money transfer app such as Zelle or Venmo. Additionally, victims are warned by the phone scammer not to speak to anyone about the request due to a non-existing gag order.

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“The name used by the caller matches the name of an actual Sheriff’s Office employee, so an Internet search of the name may make the call appear to be legitimate,” authorities added.

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office reaffirms that they would never request or ask for payments in such a manner.

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Anyone who believes they have fallen victim to this scam is asked to call the Sheriff’s Police Investigation Section at (708) 865-4896 or the Sheriff’s Police non-emergency number at 847-635-1188.