New phone scam targets Tulare County residents

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Tulare County Sheriffs Office is warning the community of scammers pretending to be with their department. Scammers are telling people there is a warrant out for their arrest and then demanding hundreds of dollars. Visalia resident Claudia Williams almost fell for it.

"He was so realistic, we absolutely thought it was the truth," said Williams.

Monday her husband received a suspicious call at 5 in the morning. The man on the phone claimed to be Lieutenant Jack Rain.

"There is no lieutenant jack rain to my knowledge," said Lieutenant Joe Campos with the Tulare County Sheriffs Office.

The scammer said there was a warrant out for her husband's arrest, for missing jury duty. They were told to pay up $900 to fix the problem.

"This covers court costs and you are going to get $889 back," said Williams. "They wanted 11 dollars?"

The scammer instructed them to drop the money off at the sheriff's substation.

"He informed us that the kiosk at the sheriff's substation is where we should go to Walgreens or Walmart and buy a pay pack," said Williams. "Never heard of a pay pack."

Williams called the Tulare County Sheriff's Office to verify. That is when she figured it out it was all a hoax, but she was not the only one who fell for it. Sheriffs say 15 people reported the scam on Monday.

"We do not conduct business over the phone like that if you have an arrest warrant," said Campos.

Sheriffs say they have seen this scam before, but this time no specific age group is being targeted.

"Whether they hang-up on the individual, we need to know about it and document it and get as much information as we can," said Campos.

Sheriffs are still looking for the scammers. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Tulare County Sheriffs Office.
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