FRESNO, Calif. - The Fresno County Sheriff's Office wants to warn Valley residents about the latest phone scam making the rounds.
Investigators have received multiple reports from citizens saying they received phone calls from a person claiming to be with the Sheriff's Office. The scammer even gives out a fake name and badge number and tells victims they are in trouble with the law.
Claims include: having an unanswered court summons for a citation or failing to appear for jury duty. The caller then orders his targets to pay for the fake fines to avoid arrest.
"We heard of one case-- they actually mentioned a real Fresno County judge's name saying that it was signed on the document. And this person wanted them to take care of the matter. So the people are doing their research," said Tony Botti, Fresno County Sheriff's Office.
The suspect also tells victims to meet at a specific location to pay the fine. In some cases the scam artist directs a person to buy gift cards and read the security codes over the phone.
The Fresno County Sheriff's Office wants to make it clear: it will never make solicitations for money or ask for fines to be paid over the phone.
If you receive such a call, never give into the person's demands. Instead, document any information such as the caller's name, or phone number, and report it to law enforcement.