The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) is warning the public to beware of an ongoing scam in which someone calls potential victims claiming to be from the sheriff’s office, telling them there’s a warrant out for them. DCSO said it received numerous reports just on Friday.
As with many scams, the culprits try to prey on people’s emotions — namely panic — thinking they are somehow in trouble with the law.
Here is the full release from DCSO, explaining how to avoid becoming a victim.
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office would like to again warn the citizens of Deschutes County of the recurring warrant scam hitting our area. We have taken numerous reports today from community members who was contacted by a subject who identified themselves as a member of Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office and asked for money to clear up a warrant issued after missing jury duty. The citizen was also told they could clear up the warrant by paying the bail with pre-paid gift cards.
With the improvements in technology, Law Enforcement has recognized the subjects involved in these scams are able to utilize local Oregon phone numbers, making the scam appear more legitimate.
Law enforcement will never contact a citizen and ask for money to clear up a warrant or any other legal matter. If a citizen has a warrant, a member of a law enforcement agency will likely contact you in person and have the proper credentials to identify themselves. Citizens should always be skeptical of any situation where an unfamiliar person is asking for money over the telephone.
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office would like to ask community members to share this scam information with others. Unfortunately, we have had community members fall victim to this scam in the past and we would like to prevent anyone else from falling victim in the future. Consider talking with a neighbor, calling a friend or family member and/or sharing this information on social media. The best way to prevent someone from falling victim to this scam is through education.
If you have fallen prey to this or similar scams and have lost money as a result, please contact Deschutes County non-emergency dispatch at 541-693-6911.