Authorities warn of red-light ticket scheme - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Authorities warn of red-light ticket scheme

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CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) -

Chatham County Sheriff's Office and Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department have been receiving calls from concerned citizens about a phone scheme. Authorities believe that they are probably connected.

Authorities say the scheme starts with a  phone call. The caller might tell the victim that they work with the Magistrate Court and that the victim has been caught on a red-light camera and there is a warrant for their arrest. The caller tells the victim that all they need to do to stop the warrant is go and get a credit card or green dot card and put a specified dollar amount on it. The caller then asks the victim to give them the code on the back of the card, so they can access the money and then the arrest warrant will be stopped.

"We tried to trace the phone and it goes from one cell to another cell to a paid cell. So, it is a scam that is going on. They are trying to scam people out of money," said Col. John Wilcher, CCSO.

Several years ago, the sheriff's office was contacted about a similar scheme where the caller stated they were a lieutenant with the Chatham County Sheriff's Office. The callers would tell the victims that if they wanted to get their loved ones out of jail, they needed to put the money on the card. Authorities say the scheme was perpetrated in several counties in Georgia and a number of nearby states.

According to authorities, at no time would anyone from the courts call someone and advise them to put money on a card in lieu of a warrant, nor would anyone from Chatham County Sheriff's Office call and ask someone to put money on a card to get an inmate out of jail.

Authorities say a red light ticket will come directly to the address on the driver's registration and will have a photograph of the driver running the light. They also that when bonding someone out of jail, the person will have to pay a bond and sign paperwork.

Anyone with questions about a ticket received by Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department should call 912.652.3100. For red light tickets call 525.3100 ext 1570. For more information about the Chatham County Jail, folks should call 912.652.7700.

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