Friday October 3rd, 2014 :: 12:54 p.m. PDT

Public Service Announcement – We would like to warn the public of Fraudulent Scam Phone Calls.

Public Service Announcement – Fraudulent Scam Phone Calls

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department would like to warn the public of Fraudulent Scam Phone Calls. Recently, various frauds have occurred in the Riverside County area where criminals contact victims by telephone to impersonate law enforcement officials or utility company officials.

In the first type of scheme, the caller claims to be a member of law enforcement, or the court system. The victim is told he or she has a warrant for failing to appear for jury duty. The caller demands payment for the warrant via credit card information, or a Green Dot card. The suspect typically remains on the phone with the victim while he or she travels to the store to obtain the Green Dot card. The suspect further instructs the victim not to tell anyone who they are talking with. After obtaining the serial numbers to the Green Dot cards, the money deposited to the card is immediately removed by the suspect.

The caller is not connected with the Riverside Superior Court or the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. No Riverside County Court or Sheriff’s Department employee will ever contact the public and ask for financial information or payment in lieu of attending court proceedings, or to make up for failure to appear for jury duty.

In the second scheme, the caller claims to be from a utility, or service provider-type company. The victim is told their bill is overdue, or a meter needs to be replaced at the victim’s expense. The caller demands immediate payment for the overdue bill, or installation of a new meter. If payment is not received, the victim’s service will be shut off. The caller demands credit card information or a Green Dot card as described in the first scheme.

The caller is not connected with any utility or service providers. Victims are encouraged to advise the caller they will call the utility company directly, and discontinue the call. The victim should then contact the utility company themselves through legitimate and verified numbers.

It should be noted there are several technologies and methods that allow callers to conceal what number they are calling from, or to give the appearance they are calling from the Sheriff’s Department, court, service provider or utility company.

Anyone receiving a telephone call from a person claiming to be a Riverside County Court or Sheriff’s Department employee or other law enforcement official seeking money should refuse the demand and report the incident to your local Sheriff or Police Station.

Citizens may also submit an anonymous tip using the Sheriff’s CrimeTips online form.

Address/Location
Riverside County Sheriff’s Department – Headquarters
4095 Lemon St
Riverside, CA 92501

Contact
Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 951-955-2400

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