MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. — The Marshall County Sheriff's Office wants you to beware of a phone scam.
They say the scammer identifies himself as Deputy Sheriff Mark Andrew and asks you to wire money through Dollar Generals and Walmarts to avoid being arrested.
A real law enforcement officer will never contact you for monetary wire transfers.
If you receive one of these calls, hang up and call police.
Other agencies are warning about scams offering COVID-19 testing and vaccines.
The Alabama Department of Public Health and Alabama Medicaid Agency have received reports of people being contacted at their homes being offered COVID-19 vaccinations at home.
The organizations said people falsely claiming to be employees of the Medicaid Agency are contacting recipients by phone or in-person offering free COVID-19 testing.
Attorney General Steve Marshall, along with State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris and Medicaid Commissioner Stephanie McGee Azar, are warning that this is a scam and if you are contacted for free in-home COVID-19 testing or vaccinations hang up immediately.
Other scams that took advantage of people in need during the holidays were online pet scams.
According to the Better Business Bureau's data, more than $3 million dollars were lost to pet scams in 2020.
"They're projecting that over three million dollars will have been lost to pet scams over this COVID period. And that's a huge increase over prior years," said Tricia Pruitt, Regional Vice President for Cullman, Lawrence, Limestone, Morgan and Winston Counties, Better Business Bureau.
And according to the Better Business Bureau's Scam Tracker data, that's more than double the money lost to pet scams last year. Just last month, the Bureau reported 337 incidences of these scams, a major increase compared to the 77 incidences reported during the same month in 2019.
If you're thinking about getting a pet online, there are a few red flags you should look out for.
"They always come back with some other charge. After they've gotten your first payment, they know they've scammed you out of that much money. But then they'll come back in and try to get more. They will tell you that, like an English Bulldog needed a temperature-controlled crate, that you needed to pay shipping charges to have it sent to you," said Pruitt.