A new phone scam has the San Diego Sheriff’s Department on alert. Callers have posed as officials from the department, telling people that there’s a warrant out for their arrest for failing to show up in court.
The caller then threatens - pay now or go to jail.
Officials with the San Diego Superior Court say that the caller claims that the warrant has been issued because the person answering the phone was a witness to a traffic accident and never showed up in court.
The scammer has even fooled local attorney Barry Carlton - by using actual court locations and names of judges.
Carlton says he received that call and had a 14-minute conversation with the person on the other end.
He says the caller offered to smooth things over if Carlton forked over $990 for each made up offense.
“I was supposed to go to a kiosk and supposed to enter some sort of information,” Carlton said.
But Carlton didn’t go to the kiosk or fork over any money. Instead, he hung up before the scammer could finish his next sentence.
Officials say, this type of scam isn’t new.
“These scammers move through from time to time; sometimes they tell people there are charges for failing to show up for jury services or charges for clearing up arrest warrants,” said San Diego Superior Court Executive Officer Michael Roddy.
Roddy assures the public that the court and law enforcement will never call with this type of issue - and the court would never demand cash in order to make charges go away.
If you become a victim of or receive this type of call, officials say it’s best to just hang up and give law enforcement a call.