Fresno sheriff warns of phone scam
July 11, 2017
• Imposter demands cash to stop arrest process
• “We have also received reports of the scam artist directing a person to purchase gift cards”
Someone is posing as a member of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office and demanding money or gift cards in calls to unsuspecting, would-be dupes.
The scammer claims he is a member of the Sheriff’s Office and goes so far as to give out a fictitious name and claiming to work in the “Warrants and Citation Unit.”
But the sheriff’s office has no such unit and no one matching the name and supposed badge number.
The caller makes various claims to the person indicating they are in trouble with the law. Claims include: Having an unanswered summons for a citation or failing to appear in court or for jury duty, with a warrant being issued for their arrest.
Then the caller orders his target to pay a certain amount of money in fines to avoid being arrested and taken to jail.
“We have taken reports where the suspect requests the person meet them at different locations, such as a grocery store, in order to pay the fine. We have also received reports of the scam artist directing a person to purchase gift cards and read them the security codes on the card, which allows the suspect access to the money,” a sheriff’s office spokesman says. “Some of the more popular gift cards requested are Vanilla Visa and Green Dot MoneyPak. Requests are usually made for hundreds of dollars.”
The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office wants to make it clear to the public that it never makes solicitations for money or asks for the payment of fines over the phone.
These scams tend to come in waves and often target elderly citizens in particular, the sheriff’s office says.
Anyone getting such a call is being asked to document any information, such as the caller’s name or phone number and report it to the law enforcement agency overseeing their jurisdiction.