New scam hits northeast Kansas

The screen on the phone console at the reception desk at The Associated Press Washington bureau, Monday, May 13, 2013. The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative's top executive called a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" into how news organizations gather the news.  (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)
The screen on the phone console at the reception desk at The Associated Press Washington bureau, Monday, May 13, 2013. The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative's top executive called a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" into how news organizations gather the news. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

HIAWATHA, Kan. (AP) – A new kind of telephone scam is hitting northeast Kansas, this one perpetrated by people pretending to be federal agents.

Brown County Sheriff John Merchant tells KNZA-FM that a caller with a heavy foreign accent leaves messages on home answering machines claiming the recipient is a suspect in a federal investigation.

The caller says the recipient must return the call or face legal consequences. But the sheriff says the return call will result in hefty telephone charges that the scammer will pocket.

A second scam involves calls to cellphones saying a federal warrant has been issued for the recipient. The caller says the recipient must make a payment through personal financial information to avoid being arrested at work.

Merchant says anyone receiving such calls should notify law enforcement.

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