"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.