New Phone Scam Want Your Money to Avoid Your Arrest
Written by Andrew-Rossi on November 19, 2020
A scammer posing as a Park County Sheriff’s employee asks for money so you can avoid arrest – all while using the Sheriff’s Office’s real phone number.
The Park County Sheriff’s Office took to Facebook to confirm their Communications Center has received several complaints about the same call – a person posing as a deputy or other employee, stating they have a warrant for your arrest.
To avoid arrest, the “employee” demands collateral in the form of cash or gift cards.
Adding to the confusion, the scammer is “cloning” the Park County Sheriff’s Office’s actual phone number – (307) 527-8700 – to make the call look more legitimate — and threatening.
While receiving such a call may cause panic and concern, there are several important things to remember:
- Warrant notification is never conducted over the phone. If you get a call from the Sheriff’s Office, it won’t be to inform you of a warrant or tell you they’re coming for you.
- There is no payment that can remove an active warrant – if one is put out for you, you are either arrested or the warrant dropped. No legitimate Sheriff’s Office employee will ever solicit money from you.
If you become the target of such a call, do not send or commit to sending any money. Tell them that you will be dealing directly with the court, which you should do regardless of the circumstance.
If you want to make a report on a fraudulent call, call dispatch at 307-527-8700 or 307-754-8700 and confirm you are speaking to a local law enforcement representative.
Several phone scams have been circulating in Park County in 2020. The most serious involve scammers taking advantage of the pandemic. Earlier in 2020, scammers were posing as COVID-19 contact tracers, using the questioning as an opportunity to gather sensitive information like bank account or social security numbers.
Others have been trying to collect money using temporary rebates on utility bills offered by some municipalities during the pandemic. No community in Park County is currently offering utility rebates.
Many of these issues will not be addressed over a phone call – it’s usually the first indicator that the caller is actually a scammer.
The easiest way to see if there is an active warrant for your arrest is to visit the Park County Sheriff’s website (and follow the “Warrants” link) or call the Park County Circuit Court directly at 307-527-8590.
Some warrants are also issued through the municipal courts:
- Cody at (307) 527-7511
- Powell at (307) 754-5106
The important thing is to verify that you are speaking to a law enforcement officer before divulging any information or sending any money, especially as scammers and their technology get more sophisticated and convincing.