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Scam alert: Warrant scam

Phone scammers posing as Sheriff's Deputies

SAN DIEGO COUNTY – The San Diego County Sheriff's Department is warning the public about a phone scam involving con artists posing as deputies.

To sound convincing, the caller identifies himself as a currently employed deputy. The storyline involves a missed court appearance. He then transfers the person on the other line to another person claiming to be a deputy who demands they come alone to the Sheriff's Department Headquarters located at 9621 Ridgehaven Court in Kearny Mesa.

He also makes a threat, claiming the issue will escalate into a criminal matter if the person fails to show up. 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. Sheriff's Headquarters is also closed at night and on weekends.

Fact: 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 one of the Sheriff's Court Facilities.

Fact: Confirm jury service by contacting the Superior Court of California.

Impersonating a Sheriff's Deputy is a violation of state law. Remember these tips about phone 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 offices.

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.

The hook

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.

Again, if you get a phone call like this, hang up. It is a scam!


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