Investigators looking for fake deputy scammer

(WMC-TV) - The Shelby County Sheriff's Office said a fake deputy is trying to scam innocent victims.

The fraud seeks to collect personal information and perhaps steal your identity.

Sunday, James Penny received a phone call from the fake deputy.

"The person on the other end of the line claimed to be a captain with the sheriff's department," said Penny.  "Tyrone Banks."

The fake deputy claimed to have discovered and foiled a fraudulent $800 charge on Penny's debit card, but claimed he needed verification.

"He wanted me to start giving him some information about my debit card," said Penny.

Penny declined and later confirmed there was no Captain Tyrone Banks on staff.

The Shelby County Sheriff's Office said a complete stranger is using its name to prey on innocent victims.

"This is a very, very, very serious matter," said Shelby County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Chip Washington.

Washington said they have taken multiple reports describing the same phone call from the fictitious captain.

"When somebody calls just out of the blue and solicits your personal credit card information, that's a no-no," said Washington.  "The Shelby County Sheriff's Office does not work that way."

"It's just a scam," said Penny.

Penny said the caller claimed to have tracked the thief to a specific address in Southeast Memphis and tried to get him to meet him there.  The resident at that address said she had never heard of Captain Tyrone Banks or his con.

"We're full steam ahead trying to catch this individual and lock him up," said Washington.

Penny said he feels violated.

"I'm retired," he said.  "I have very little to live on.  I can't stand somebody trying to take money from me that way."

If you have gotten a similar phone call, the Shelby County Sheriff's Office asks you to call the detective bureau at (901) 545-5600.

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