SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The San Diego County Sheriff's Department wants community members to beware of a warrant scam involving con artists posing as deputies.
Officials say they received multiple reports about someone calling them with the pretense of being an employed deputy.
During the phone call, the first person mentions a missed court appearance and then transfers the caller to another person who also claims to be a deputy. The second individual then demands the victim come alone to Sheriff’s Department Headquarters at 9621 Ridgehaven Court in Kearny Mesa.
The second scammer reportedly threatens, claiming the issue will escalate into a criminal matter if the person fails to show up.
SDSO says those who reported receiving the call say they were told to go to Sheriff's Headquarters alone at any time, including at night, and not to tell anyone about this.
"This is a SCAM. The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department will NEVER call anyone demanding money or threatening them with jail time over any matter," the agency said in a released statement Tuesday.
"Sheriff's Headquarters is also closed at night and on weekends."
Deputies say outstanding warrants cannot be resolved over the phone or at Sheriff’s Department Headquarters.
Warrants can only be cleared through the court. People with outstanding warrants are urged to turn themselves in Monday through Friday during business hours at any of the Sheriff's Court Facilities. To check if there is a warrant out for your arrest, click here.
The San Diego County Sheriff's Department has provided tips to help residents avoid becoming a victim of these scams.
The Phone Call
- To sound believable, scammers will use a real employee's name or Sheriff's Department telephone number which can be found online.
- They will also use Caller ID "spoofing" to appear as though the call is coming from a Sheriff's Station, Substation, jail, or court office.
The Scare Tactic
- The caller will try to intimidate you. They will threaten you with lawsuits, jail time, or arrest if you don't pay them or take immediate action.
- These scams play on your fears. You want to be a law-abiding citizen and you surely don't want to end up in jail. In a panic, you end up giving your personal information or money to resolve the situation.