ST. FRANCOIS COUNTY, Mo. – The St Francois County Sheriff’s Department is warning residents of an ongoing phone scam in the area.

Deputies have received several reports from concerned citizens about calls from people posing as members of the sheriff’s department.

During these calls, the scammer will refer to the recipient by name, inform them the call is being recorded, and then say the recipient missed a recent court appearance or jury summons.

The caller says the county resident must pay them money or the department will issue a warrant for their arrest. The scammers are attempting to scare potential victims into forwarding them money or gift cards.

According to the sheriff’s department, the scammers will spoof a law enforcement agency’s number and use a real officer’s name so it seems like a legit phone call. However, no government agency will take gift cards as payment.

The sheriff’s department says it will not call residents and demand or request money from them under any circumstances. In fact, no law enforcement agency will call people seeking payment for outstanding citations, warrants, or unpaid federal or state taxes.