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LIVINGSTON -- Scam artists recently tried using a telephone number from the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office to bilk money from people, and now they have shifted tactics.

Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Lori Steele said scammers have been contacting the offices of area dentists and doctors. The callers tell whoever answers that a warrant has been issued for their arrest, Steele said.

The reason — a missed jury duty appearance, she said.

“To avoid arrest, they want cold, hard cash,” Steele said. “Don’t fall for this.”

The scammers are using an app so they can connect with potential targets through what appears to be a local number.

The number that keeps reappearing: (225) 424-8143.

“We have reason to believe the scammers are based out of the country,” Steele said.

“If you call this number back, you’ll hear a recording. On that recording, you’ll hear the scammer pretending to be with the ‘Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Department’ and … ‘a deputy will call you back within an hour,’ ’’ she said.

“No one has fallen for this scam, yet. We hope no one does,” she said.

Steele recommended not responding at all to the caller.

“If you happen to answer, hang up and call your local law enforcement agency or the LPSO,” she said.

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