EVANSVILLE, Ind (WEHT)– It’s the most elaborate scam a local doctor says she’s ever seen. Dr. Allison Bush, a Tri-State physical therapist says she got a phone call from someone claiming to be a Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Deputy. After stating a fake badge number he insisted she send more than $8,000.
“So I mean I’m kind of that, ‘Woah! I’m just like in shock and scared. I really want to get off the phone and call my attorney and find out is this legit or is this a scam,” Dr. Bush said on Thursday she got a phone call that rocked her to her core. “He kept saying, ‘Do you understand this? Do you understand this? Okay 10-4.'”
The stern person on the other line was claiming to be Sergeant Donald Gilmore from the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office. He was insisting she pay up for not showing up as an expert witness in a trial. At first she believed him since this could happen in her line of work. Although, the fact is there is no Sergeant Donald Gilmore in the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office.
“Once they determined that somebody had forged my signature because he had it right in front of him that I had signed up for this subpoena that I got in the mail that I had never heard of before, that they would reimburse me,” explained Bush.
Bush said after the caller insisted she tell him the make and model of her car, and meet him on Martin Luther King Boulevard to send the money over on a kiosk, she knew something wasn’t adding up. The bogus officer wouldn’t let Bush talk to her lawyer and kept threatening jail time.
“He tells me I have a gag order on me, and that the gag order means I can’t talk to anybody, not even my lawyer,” Bush said she eventually hung up, called the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office, and spoke with a detective.
“But when I told him a bit of the story, he said, ‘Was it Donald Gilmore?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ He said, ‘You’re the third person to call me today on this scam. He said this is absolutely a scam and he said don’t give them any information,” said Bush.
A detective at the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office tells Eyewitness News scammers have been claiming to be law enforcement officers to get money for a while. Sometimes they give victims fake names, badge numbers and even use lingo like ’10-4′ to make them seem more convincing. This is a red flag because sheriff’s deputies won’t call you to pay something this is handled through the courts.