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This week the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received the report of another phone scam claiming to be with our agency and attempting to victimize local residents.
The scammer claims to be an Administrative Sergeant or Lieutenant with the Sheriff’s Office and tells the victim that they have multiple warrants issued by a judge for their arrest. The scammer is able to provide detailed personal information to the victim. Upon callback to the scammer’s provided phone number, the victim is taken through a fake Sheriff’s Office phone tree, much like the one you may experience by calling our agency’s main phone number.
The scammer instructs the victim to go to a CVS, Walgreens or Home Depot, purchase $2,000 worth of “electronic vouchers”, and then provide those vouchers to the scammer. The scammer threatens to arrest the victim immediately if the victim does not comply.
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind the public that we will never call you and threaten to arrest you if you do not pay a fine, demand payment in exchange for dropping a warrant or ask you to pay a fine using pre-paid cards, gift cards or vouchers.
Phone scams thrive off of fear, which often causes victims to make rapid decisions without stopping to evaluate the validity of the situation. Before you give up your money or personal information, talk to someone you trust. Con artists want you to make decisions in a hurry. They might even threaten you. Slow down, check out the story, do an online search, consult an expert — or just tell a friend.
Additionally, technology makes it easy for scammers to fake caller ID information or virtual phone trees. If someone calls asking for money or personal information, hang up. If you think the caller might be telling the truth, call back to a number you know is genuine. Never call a scammer back at the number they have provided. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office main number is 707-445-7251. All of our sub-station phone numbers are listed on our website at humboldtsheriff.org.
Report phone scams to your local law enforcement and to the Federal Trade Commission at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/.