El Dorado County sheriff’s officials warn that scam artists using Internet-based phones are targeting county residents in an attempt to obtain money.
The scammers, from outside the area, have been particularly active in the past two weeks. They use the Internet-based phones, which allow them to select a local area code, and they identify themselves as local law enforcement agents. People who receive the calls are told that they have missed jury duty and a warrant has been issued for their arrest. In most cases, the victims are told that the amount of the warrant is $5,500 and if they don’t pay, they will be arrested, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release.
The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Dispatch Center has received approximately 50 calls reporting such incidents. In one case, a local bank called and reported that an older woman was attempting to withdraw $6,000. The bank employee thought the woman might be the target of a scam artist.
A sheriff’s deputy went to the bank and spoke to the woman, who reported that she had received a phone call from a man who identified himself as Lt. Allen from the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office. The deputy obtained the phone number and called the man. The man confirmed that he was attempting to scam money from the woman. He boasted to the deputy that he was experienced in this activity and would not be caught.
Sheriff’s officials advise residents not to give money to anyone soliciting funds who purports to be from the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office or any other government agency. Sheriff’s officials also ask anyone who has been a victim of the scam, or who has information that would assist in the investigation, to call the sheriff’s detective unit at 530-642-4703.