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NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – The Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office is sending out a warning after seeing a rise in fraud cases that get people to buy gift cards to pay off outstanding warrants.

“It will look like they’re getting a call from us and they will claim they have a warrant out for their arrest,” said Mendi Brandon, Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office.

With the holidays just around the corner, an old scam is making its way through the telephone lines again.

Scammers going as far as to spoof the sheriff`s main telephone number– making it look like the sheriff’s office is calling you.

“In order to clear that warrant, they need to go to any local store and buy gift cards. They will stay on the phone with them the entire time,” Brandon said.

They’re even using the names of current employees to scam individuals into purchasing the gift cards.

They tell the person who answers the line to buy gift cards for large amounts of money.

Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office’s Mendi Brandon says someone spent thousands of dollars on gift cards earlier this week, only to realize they had been scammed. And the money– gone.

Brandon says scammers are asking for gift cards because they’re easy to get the money off of quickly.

“It’s because they’re not trackable,” Brandon said. “It’s very disappointing to see this, especially to the older population they are more susceptible to these types of scams because of technology.” 

The sheriff’s office hoping this warning will save others from being scammed, but also hoping store employees will keep an eye open.

“We ask that employees that work at Lowes, Target, Walmart, anything like that, if you see somebody coming in and purchasing a large gift card just make sure that you talk to them about ‘hey, are you sure you’re not being scammed? Is this a gift?’ Just so that we are protecting our citizens,” Brandon said.

The sheriff’s office says if you receive a call like this, hang up and contact the sheriff’s office yourself, because anyone demanding payment through gift cards is scamming you.

If you feel you have been a victim of a scam, call 405-701-8916 to report the crime.