A man impersonating a Fresno County Sheriff’s Office employee is soliciting money over the phone.
The scammer randomly calls people claiming to be from the sheriff’s office, giving a fake name and even a badge number. He tells people he works in the “warrants and citation unit,” which doesn’t exist, the sheriff’s office said.
He tells the people on the other end of the line that they’re in trouble with the law and they have an unanswered summons for a citation or failed to appear for jury duty or court, resulting in a warrant for their arrest. The man orders victims to pay for fines to avoid being arrested and jailed.
The suspect also has asked victims to meet him somewhere, such as a grocery store, to pay the fine. He’s also directed people to purchase gift cards, such as the Vanilla Visa and Greed Dot MoneyPak, and read them security card which allows him to access money. The requests are typically hundreds of dollars.
The sheriff’s office noted scams such as this one occur periodically and target elderly citizens. The sheriff’s office does not solicit money or fine payments over the phone.
If you receive such a call, document information such as the caller’s name or phone number and report it to law enforcement
To report a phone scam to the sheriff’s office, visit www.fresnosheriff.org and click on the “report a crime” button at the top of the page.