Scamming residents in Warren County by telephone
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File photo of a pay phone (Photo: Flickr Creative Commons)
LEBANON, Ohio -- A man claiming to be a federal agent is accused of scamming residents in Warren County by telephone.
A man recently called Warren Country Veteran Services Commission Director Rod Eversole, and stated that he would be arrested and forced to go to court over online prescription purchases.
Eversole spoke with WCPO's Taylor Mirfendereski who said the man claimed to be Special Agent William Wright from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Wright told Eversole he would be placed in custody for 15 to 30 days and appear in court to answer to charges against him for a 2009 online Vicodin purchase in the Dominican Republic.
"I was shaking. I was so scared. He didn't speak with a foreign accent. Very matter of fact. Telling me, 'Hey, tell that to the judge.' He gave me an old address that I in fact used to have," Eversole said.
The man called Eversole from a Washington, D.C. number: 202-241-5693. WCPO called the number and was forwarded to a voicemail. The recording said the following: "Thank you for calling the U.S. DEA office in Washington, D.C. Your call is very important to us. All of our agents are currently busy at this time please leave your name and number and a brief message and one of our agents will contact you."
Worried and unsure, Eversole phoned the Lebanon Police Department to ask if there was a warrant out for his arrest. The receptionist told him that it was a scam and that many residents in the area have received similar calls.
Similar reports have been made across the country about "Special Agent William Wright." All reports say the man calls from different Washington, D.C. phone numbers claiming that they illegally purchased drugs online. In various tips, people have said the man has some type of actual information on them -- just like with Eversole.
In online scam forums , users have said that Mr. Wright will inform them of a fine they are facing and that if they pay it immediately using MoneyGram, they won't be arrested.
Police say this is a scam and to call local law enforcement to file a report.
Taylor Mirfendereski contributed to this report