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Alert: Phone Scammers Posing as Police Officers

The San Diego Sheriff's Department is warning you to be careful of a phone scam in which those calling claim to be from the law enforcement agency.

"Beware; phone scammers have recently been posing as members of the Sheriff's Department." 

That's a message from the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, who is putting out a warning to all area residents about a group of criminals who have been calling citizens and identifying themselves as deputies or representatives of the department.

"The victims are told they have outstanding warrants," a press release from the department says.  "Callers claim they will clear the arrest warrant or cancel a pending court appearance if the potential victim sends money within a certain time-frame."

What's more-- victims are told they will be arrested if they don't send the requested money, according to the release.

"If you receive a solicitation for money based on this scenario, it's a scam," the sheriff's department says.

Another similar scam was reported last week, when a woman was contact by someone claiming to be a sheriff's sergeant who needed to collect taxes on a monetary prize she was told she won.

"On Wednesday, January 10th, a caller claiming to be a Sergeant from the Sheriff's Financial Crimes Unit informed a 69-year-old woman from Fashion Valley that she won $600,000, but she would have to send a check in order to pay the taxes on the prize," sheriff's officials said.  "The woman in this case called the Sheriff's Department and discovered the call was bogus."

In response to these ongoing scams, the sheriff's department wants you to know:


Impersonating a Sheriff's Deputy is a violation of state law. No deputy or employee of the Sheriff's Department will ever contact members of the public by telephone to demand money or any other form of payment. If someone tells you they need money for you to receive money, it's a scam. If you get this type of call, hang up immediately. 

all-c-ing-eye January 16, 2013 at 03:04 AM
Good story, Also you should know that there are those that call that sound like policeman by having an authoritative speaking manner and using the word "sir" a lot. They [although it may be legal] collect anywhere from 70%-90% of all monies collected for themselves or the agency they represent and weather its the firemen or police or whatever, they get whats ever left over, which isnt much. Hint, If they keep saying Sir, tell them to stop, dont sir me Im not an officer. Or you can confront them directly and ask them "Are you a Policeman?" No? then why are you trying to sound like one? Then say goodbye and you hang up the phone right then and there, these people have a chance to get your money as long as they can keep you talking on the line to convince you. End it right there, just hang up.

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