Scammers Posing as Deputies

Sheriff's Department used as a 'ruse' to steal money, statement says

By Lauren Steussy
|  Friday, May 18, 2012  |  Updated 11:05 AM PDT
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Scammers Posing as Deputies

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The San Diego County Sheriff's Department warned the public Friday about a series of scams in which a suspect uses the department's name to trick seniors into wiring money to them.

In one case, the suspect told a man he won cash in a sweepstakes, but had to pay a fee to obtain it. The suspect said he was a deputy, and actually used the name of a department deputy to facilitate the transaction.

The victim decided to visit the station to meet the supposed deputy before sending the money. When he arrived, the deputy whose name was used stopped the man from sending the money.

In another case, deputies found that a suspect who had previously taken money from a woman was attempting to scam her again. This time, the suspect claimed he was a relative of the woman and asked the department to conduct a welfare check on the woman.

When a deputy spoke to the woman, she said she had no idea who the person was who called the department.

The deputy called the suspect back. The suspect admitted he was using the Sheriff's Department to try to reestablish contact with the victim so he could continue the financial abuse, a statement from the department read.

This most recent warning comes just a few days after the department sent another warning that scammers were posing as utility workers to gain access into homes.

Cases like these are handled by the Sheriffs Department's Elder Abuse Unit. The unit can be reached at 858-974-2322.

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