The San Diego Sheriff’s Department issued an alert Thursday regarding a string of alleged phone scammers who have been posing as deputies and demanding money from the public.
According to officials, the scammers call victims by phone and either identify themselves as deputies or say they’re representing the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.
The victims on the other end are told they have outstanding warrants. The scammers then claim they will clear the arrest warrant or cancel court appearances if the victim sends money within a certain timeframe.
In some instances, officials say the scammers have told victims they will have a local police officer come to their home and arrest them if they don’t send money.
On Wednesday, one of these scammers allegedly called a 69-year-old woman and claimed to be a sergeant from the Sheriff’s Financial Crimes Unit. He told the woman she had won $600,000, but would have to send him a check to pay taxes on the prize.
Officials say the victim in this case called the Sheriff’s Department, who confirmed the call was bogus.
The Sheriff’s Department urges the public to report any calls of this nature. Officials say real deputies or Sheriff’s Department employees will never call members of the public by phone to demand money or payment.
If you receive a solicitation for money like this from an alleged deputy, officials say it’s a scam and you should hang up immediately. Do not give the caller any of your personal or financial information.
Impersonating a deputy violates state law. Officials are searching for these scammers and ask anyone with information regarding these cases to contact the Sheriff’s Department.