VALPARAISO — A couple phone scams are underway in the area claiming to be from the Porter County sheriff's department.

A local dentist office reported receiving a couple calls this week claiming dentists failed to show up for jury duty and thus were required to pay a fee, according to Porter Circuit Court Judge Mary Harper's staff.

The call claimed to be coming from the office of Porter County Sheriff's Department Chief Jeff Biggs.

The call did not originate from the department, and the fee referenced is not real, according to the court.

The sheriff's department posted on its Facebook page Wednesday that it has heard from citizens who received calls claiming to be from Biggs, saying they have an active warrant and need to obtain gift cards to pay off the warrant.

"Although Chief Biggs is our chief, obviously this is not a real call we would make," according to the department.

Anyone receiving these types of calls is encouraged to hang up and either check the sheriff's department website or sheriff's app for any active warrants under their name.

Help is also available by calling the department's civil bureau at 219-477-3158.