Be Aware of Scams

SheriffMcMahon

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department would like to remind citizens of the increasing frequency of telephone scams occurring throughout our county and others.

One of the recent scams involves a person impersonating an official from a government agency, typically the sheriff’s department, requesting payment for alleged outstanding warrants or jury absences.  Please understand that neither the Sheriff’s Department nor its representatives will call or email requesting any such payments.  In previous cases the caller will request personal information such as birth dates and social security numbers for verification purposes.  These types of scams usually include payment options such as Green Dot Money Pak or other prepaid debit or credit cards, Money Orders, or Cashier’s Checks.  These requests are not legitimate and do not originate from our courts or any other official agencies.  Court officers never ask for confidential information over the phone.

The following tips may help protect you from being a victim of these scams:

• Never reveal any personal information when speaking to an unsolicited caller.

• Court staff will never call to collect fines over the phone.  Court correspondence will occur through the mail.

• Verify the person’s identity.  Ask for their name and other pertinent details.  If they claim to work for a specific county or city, hang up and call the alleged organization at a number you know is correct.  The caller is likely to hang up as you begin asking these details.

• Caller ID numbers can be spoofed. Scammers are spoofing caller ID numbers to make them seem more legitimate, making their phone numbers seem like they are calling from a local phone number.

Persons receiving calls similar to the one described above are encouraged to call the local Police / Sheriff’s Department to report the incident.  Individuals may also contact the courts to verify that there are no pending matters in their name.

United States Courts Video Link:

http://www.uscourts.gov/Multimedia/Videos.aspx?video_url=http://www.uscourts.gov/video/source/News/news_jury-fraud-scam_low.f4v&video_image=/uscourts/video/News/jn_20090126_preview.jpg&video_id=20090126

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