SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8/COUNTY NEWS CENTER) — The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department is warning locals not to fall for a scam making the rounds.
Residents have reported receiving a call on the phone from someone claiming to be with the department who says to pay up or you’ll go to jail.
The Sheriff’s Department says anyone who receives such a call should hang up because it’s a scam.
Sheriff’s employees do not contact members of the public by phone to demand payment.
The way the con works is criminals tell people they have an outstanding warrant for their arrest — or that they have a summons for them to appear in court for missing jury duty service. The criminal might even use the name of a real sheriff’s deputy which they can easily find by doing an internet search. Another trick is they might use "Caller ID spoofing," which makes it appear that the call is coming from a sheriff’s facility.
Authorities warn not to let those details convince you its real.
Recently, some people have reported receiving calls from a man saying he was Lt. Todd Frank and using a phone number (858) 386-0524, a number not associated with the sheriff’s department, or a number that seems to be from the sheriff’s Department.
Authorities say not to let the caller intimidate you. The criminal will try to scare you into giving them your personal information or making a payment by phone.
The truth is that an outstanding arrest warrant can’t be cleared up over the phone with a payment. The sheriff’s department says only courts can clear warrants.
People with outstanding warrants are encouraged to turn themselves in Monday through Friday during business hours at any sheriff’s court facility, not make a payment.
To check if you have an outstanding warrant, visit www.sdsheriff.net/courts. To confirm if you have jury service, call the Superior Court of California at (619) 450-5757 and press “O” to talk to an operator.
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