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The New Castle City Police Department, in a press release posted to the department's Facebook page, said it has investigated several incidents where a city resident reported receiving a phone call from a person claiming to be from a local law enforcement agency.

In most cases, the department said, the person is stating he is a Lawrence County sheriff.

"The caller states that he is a sheriff’s deputy with an active arrest warrant for the family member," the post reads. "The caller did know the name of the resident and did have a local number with a voicemail claiming to be a county sheriffs office."

Police said similar scams have happened recently to other police departments.

"These scam victims are being told their warrants can be paid by Google or Apple Pay gift cards," the posting reads.

Police warn that it is important to remember that the majority of these scams use scare tactics with the threat of incarceration to pressure you into acting quickly without thinking and believing their ruse. Police advise residents "not to fall for it."

Neither the New Castle City Police Department nor any law enforcement agency will never contact a person by phone demanding payment for outstanding warrants, nor do they accept gift cards as payment for any fines or fees.

Police said they are investigating the origin the calls, but "unfortunately it is extremely difficult to ever retrieve money sent to these scams once the money is sent."

The department asks that residents use caution and common sense prior to paying any phone call requesting money. If a resident is unsure, police said, he or she is advised to contact the local police department.

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