SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Authorities warned the public Monday about a telephone scam in which thieves posing as members of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department falsely inform people they are subjects of arrest warrants as a means of extorting money from them.
During the calls, the crooks claim that the victims are facing arrest over supposed failure to pay taxes or to appear for jury duty, or for some other purported offense, officials said.
Among the techniques the perpetrators use to make the pitch convincing are using the name of an actual sheriff's employee; giving the telephone number of a sheriff's station; presenting victims' personal information, such as a former address or date of birth; and threatening jail time or driver's-license revocation.
The pitches culminate with demands for money via a credit or debit card.
In some recent cases in the East County, the thieves have employed a technique called "caller spoofing," in which they make the incoming call appear to be coming from a legitimate government agency on caller-ID screens.
No sheriff's deputy or non-sworn employee ever contacts members of the public by telephone to demand a payment of any kind, authorities advised.
Authorities Monday released an artist's rendering of a man being sought for following and pestering teenage girls in East County neighborhoods early this summer.
A wildfire that scorched about 200 brushy acres in the southeastern reaches of San Diego County Monday threatened back-country homes and a naval training center for several hours, but caused no reported structural damage or injuries.
News 8's Chief Meteorologist Matt Baylow traveled to Wyoming to see the Great American Eclipse. He had one of the best view points in the nation with clear skies and temperatures in the low 80's.
The U.S. Navy ordered a broad investigation Monday into the performance and readiness of the Pacific-based 7th Fleet after the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker in Southeast Asian waters, leaving 10 U.S. sailors missing and others injured.
Sempra Energy is buying Texas power transmitter Oncor for $9.45 billion in cash, wresting it away from Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway.
An oft-deported Mexican citizen drove drunk and caused a hit-and-run crash in San Ysidro that seriously injured a 6-year-old boy, a prosecutor alleged Monday, but a defense attorney told jurors that her client wasn't behind the wheel at the time of the collision.
Thousands of San Diegans enjoyed viewing Monday's solar eclipse at events around the city as 57 percent of the sun was blocked by the moon.
If you're planning on watching Monday's solar eclipse you'll need to head east as morning clouds along the coast will likely block those near the beaches from seeing the celestial event.
San Diego Gas & Electric officials said they expect to lose about 500 megawatts of solar energy production during Monday's eclipse, but they expect to have enough power on hand to meet demand.