Pixel Tracker

Thursday, March 21 , 2019, 9:39 pm | Partly Cloudy 54º

 
 
 
 

Phone Scammers Posing as Sheriff’s Deputies Claim Residents Owe Money for Missing Jury Duty

Scammers tell people to pay $2,000 to resolve a bench warrant issued because the person never showed up for jury duty

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office has received a large number of reports countywide the past several days regarding a familiar phone scam where the caller poses as a sheriff’s deputy.

This time around, the caller claims to be a Sheriff’s Lieutenant, provides a fake badge number and in some cases, just to make the story seem more legitimate, even agrees to meet the resident in person at a Sheriff’s station and lists the address.

The way this most recent scam works is after introducing himself as a Sheriff’s Lieutenant, the caller tells the citizen that there is a bench warrant issued for their arrest because they did not show up for jury duty.

The caller then offers to resolve the warrant if the citizen purchases a $2,000 pre-paid credit card and provides the card number during a subsequent call. In some cases, the caller promises to have the $2,000 or a portion of it returned by a Santa Barbara County court clerk.

If you receive a phone call of this nature, you should immediately hang up and call the Sheriff’s Office or any other law enforcement agency where the caller claims to be calling from to verify the information.

Do not be fooled by your caller identification, even if it appears that the number is coming from the Sheriff’s Office or an 805 area code. Technology makes it easy for scammers to fake caller ID information.

The Sheriff’s Office wants to remind residents that our agency does not call residents over the phone to notify them of a warrant nor do we take any payments of any kind over the phone.

The Sheriff’s Office has seen this particular scam before, and many versions of it, that pop up time and time again. We do not want to see any of our residents become a victim of these scams and urge you to never give your personal or financial information out over the phone.

To report phone scams, call the Federal Trade Commission at 1.877.FTC.HELP or visit the website here

Kelly Hoover is public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department. 

 

Support Noozhawk Today!

Our professional journalists work tirelessly to report on local news so you can be more informed and engaged in your community. This quality, local reporting is free for you to read and share, but it's not free to produce.

You count on us to deliver timely, relevant local news, 24/7. Can we count on you to invest in our newsroom and help secure its future?

We provide special member benefits to show how much we appreciate your support.

Email
I would like give...
Great! You're joining as a Red-Tailed Hawk!
  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.