The late Alfred Hitchcock, the master of suspense and mystery, was once asked what scared him. His answer to that question has stuck with me for most of my life. Alfred Hitchcock said the thing that scared him the most was going to jail. Because once you're in jail you have no voice, you can be made invisible. You can no longer exist and no longer exit the premises.

It's that kind of fear that is the driving force behind a phone scam that's been reported in St. Mary Parish. The Sheriff's office there says the scammer engages the victim on the phone by telling them there is a warrant out for their arrest. However, that warrant can be cleared up if they make a payment over the phone.

Since I am hoping most of you have had only limited dealings with law enforcement let me explain something to you. Payment over the phone has not nor never will make a warrant go away when dealing with a legitimate law enforcement agency. Police like to deal with warrants on a personal level. They want you to come into "the office" to fill out some paperwork.

The bad guys are not only relying on fear and ignorance to perpetuate this scam. They are also counting on residents having extra cash on hand because of the holidays. So maybe it won't seem like such a big deal to go buy a $50 gift card or a $100 gift card to make this "issue" go away.

If you've gotten or happen to get a phone call such as this our advice is to always just hang up the phone. Remember, these aren't real police so they're not going to send an officer out to your house for being rude. If you happen to have a number that you can get off of Caller ID let the police know that too.

Oh, and one more thing, if you don't want to be fearful of having warrants out for your arrest, don't break the law. I know, it's such a crazy concept, it would never work.