Park County Sheriff’s Office Warns Residents of a New (and Old ) Phone Scam
Written by Andrew-Rossi on July 7, 2022
A scam has reappeared in northwest Wyoming, where a caller poses as a Park County Sheriff’s employee and asks for money or gift cards to avoid arrest, using the Sheriff’s Office’s actual 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. The fraudulent caller says they have a warrant for your arrest or a subpoena the victim has failed to comply with.
To avoid arrest, the “employee” demands collateral in the form of cash or gift cards.
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 things to remember:
- Warrant notification is never conducted over the phone. So 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.
- No payment can remove an active warrant – if a warrant 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. Instead, tell “the caller” 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.
This isn’t the first time this particular scam has been reported in Park County. Several residents in November 2020 reported a similar scam.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, scammers posed as COVID-19 contact tracers Scammers used the important information-gathering process as an opportunity to gather sensitive information like bank account or social security numbers.
Other scams attempted to collect money using temporary rebates on utility bills offered by some municipalities during the pandemic. No community in Park County was offering utility rebates at the time.
Many scams reported in recent years use the number of local agencies to look more authentic. For example, in October 2021, a scam was reported when scammers posed as the Cities of Cody and Powell, attempting to get money for overdue bills.
Law enforcement agencies will not address many of these issues over a phone call – a reliable indicator that the call is actually a scam.
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
Verifying that you are speaking to a law enforcement officer before divulging any information or sending any money is important, especially as scammers and their technology get more sophisticated and convincing.