UNION PARISH, La. (KTVE/KARD) — The Union Parish Sheriff’s Office is urging residents to be aware of an ongoing scam happening throughout the parish.

“Yesterday morning, we received a call from an individual who received a call from someone who stated that they worked for the Union Parish Sheriff’s Office, and they had a warrant for their arrest because they failed to appear in court,” Union Parish Sheriff Dusty Gates said.

Gates says scammers are using a new tactic to exploit the fear of citizens.

“They also told the lady to go to a local store to obtain a Green Dot Card with a certain amount of money. And to call them back when she got that. They also told her not to let anybody know about this. Apparently, this happened a couple of times. Apparently, she had obtained more than one card.”

Sheriff Gates says one scammer even pretended to be the sheriff himself.

“I’ve gotten those calls myself. Of course, I immediately listen to what they have to say, and I tell them, well, you are talking to the sheriff himself.”

Union Parish resident Kenneth Mclemore says he never pays anything over the phone when he receives suspicious phone calls.

“First of all, don’t pay anything over the phone from an unknown source. Let them send you a letter in the mail. That will give you time to read the letter and make up your mind on whether it’s legit, or maybe ask someone else to look at it to see if it is legit.”

Even though the sheriff’s office was able to stop the transaction, Sheriff Gates urges residents to be vigilant.

“We wouldn’t call you to tell you we have a warrant for you. And we definitely wouldn’t ask for any financial information. Do not give your financial information. Social Security Number, or any personal information over the phone.”

“There are scammers everywhere out there. It is not going to get any better. We just have to become more aware of what’s going on,” Mclemore said.

If you have received any of these calls, you are asked to contact your local police agency. You can contact the Union Parish Sheriff’s Office at (318) 368-3124.