The New Castle County Sheriff's Office is warning the public about a scam where callers are impersonating the sheriff's office staff. 

Sheriff Samuel Pratcher, Jr. alerted residents on Wednesday about these unsolicited calls. Pratcher said his office has received a number of calls asking about the phone calls from people representing themselves as law enforcement from his office. 

"Often times these individuals are representing themselves as Sergeants or Lieutenants from the Sheriff’s Office. They are then demanding money – often in the form of gift cards - to avoid arrest," Pratcher explained. 

Pratcher pointed out that the New Castle County Sheriff’s Office is not a law enforcement agency; it does not have military ranks such as sergeants or lieutenants, only deputies; more importantly, deputies do not make arrests and will never ask for payment outside of the office.

"These are scams," said Pratcher, like when someone pretends to be from the IRS claiming you owe back taxes, or says he's calling from the courts and that you owe a fine for failing to serve on jury duty. "They will then demand some type of payment to avoid arrest. This is a scare tactic."

Pratcher reminded people not to give personal financial information over the phone or internet unless you initiated the contact and you are absolutely certain of the person or entity you have contacted.