Jun 23, 2014
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Residents are being warned about a phone scam in which a male caller claims to represent the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff.

Sheriff’s officials reported receiving several calls Monday morning from citizens who said they had been targeted by the common phone scam.

The citizens said an unknown man called claiming to be employed with the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff. The man typically tells citizens they failed to appear for jury duty, a court case or have outstanding traffic violations or a warrant for arrest, and warns they will be arrested if they don’t pay hundreds of dollars in fines and fees. The con man then asks for payments to be made through re-loadable prepaid cards that can be purchased at a local store or through cashier’s checks.

The scammer also provide citizens actual phone numbers for the Office of the Sheriff.

Sheriff’s officials say their office would never contact citizens this way.

“It is not the practice of the Office of the Sheriff, or any law enforcement agency to have people pay fines or fees by paying through reloadable prepaid cards,” officials said, adding that many folks have been victimized by this common scam.

Anyone receiving such a call should simply hang up without providing any personal information. Also, notify your local law enforcement agency.


About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.