The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office is warning people about scammers targeting their wallets.

The sheriff's department is seeing a significant increase in phone scams involving people posing as county officials demanding money from others.

“Today all you have to do is have a computer and a mouse and you can rob people,” said Hamilton County Trustee Bill Hullander.

Hamilton County officials encourage people to be careful about who you send money to.

“For some reason people just freak out when they get a call they missed grand jury, or they have a grandchild being held hostage somewhere, or they owe money,” said Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond.

Sheriff Hammond said each month, his department receives about 15 complaints. Scammers demand payments over the phone for a missed court date or jury duty, claiming they'll be arrested if they do not pay. Local victims ended up paying thousands of dollars to scammers on a card called Green Dot.

“That's a card that you can virtually send money to someone without being able to trace it,” said Sheriff Hammond.

The most recent scam to hit the area uses Hamilton County Trustee Bill Hullander's name. The scam convinces people they owe his department thousands of dollars in back taxes.

“We make calls out of our office, but we never say we will come and arrest you. It is just to let them know their taxes are going delinquent,” said Hullander.

The sheriff urges people who receives calls like this to remain calm and never send money.

“Don't panic, have them call you back. You need some assurance your person is all right. That you need to make a phone call so law enforcement can tell you what is happening. Because 99 out of 100 times it is a pure scam,” said Sheriff Hammond.

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