By SDCN Staff
San Diego, CA–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 it.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department states that it will never call anyone demanding money or threatening them with jail time over any matter. The Sheriff’s Headquarters is also closed at night and on weekends.
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, the Sheriff’s Department stated in a news release.
The public can confirm jury service by contacting the Superior Court of California.
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 caller intimidates their victims and threatens them with lawsuits, jail time, or arrest if they don’t pay them or take immediate action.
These scams play on people’s fears. Scammers know that people want to be law-abiding citizens and don’t want to end up in jail. In a panic, they end up giving their personal information or money to resolve the situation.
Anyone who gets a phone call like this is urged to hang up immediately.
Impersonating a Sheriff’s deputy is a violation of state law, authorities said.