Siskiyou Sheriff's Office reports phone scam

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office said it received a report of a fraudulent phone scam this week in the Siskiyou County area.

According to a Jan. 30 Sheriff's Office report, a Deputy who contacted the victim was told that the man received a call from a man representing himself as a Drug Enforcement Agency agent out of Sacramento. The caller said the victim was a person of interest in a narcotics investigation and he was going to serve a search warrant on the residence and had an active arrest warrant. The scam victim said he was told he needed to send $950 through Western Union to another Western Union in Poway, Calif., in order to stop the warrant issuance and court fees. The scammer stated that if the money was sent immediately he would not come to the residence and the case could be settled out of court. After the money was sent the victim said he was asked to call the court in Sacramento to have the arrest warrant removed.

The Sheriff's Office said a subsequent investigation determined that the caller was "a con-artist and thief."

Sheriff Jon Lopey said, "This is a good opportunity to remind all residents to refrain from remitting payments of any kind to people you are unfamiliar with, especially those calling you on the phone. Law enforcement personnel do not operate in this fashion and do not solicit money or funds over the phone. If in doubt of a caller's identity or purpose, always ask for a name and return phone number. Do not provide identifying information, credit card numbers or other personal information until you verify the legitimacy of the transaction."

To verify any claims of a caller who identifies himself/herself as having a law enforcement affiliation or other suspicious calls, Lopey suggests calling the Sheriff's Office 24-hour Dispatch at 530-841-2900 or your local police department if you reside in an incorporated city. He also suggests calling one of the above numbers if you encounter a suspicious door-to-door solicitor.

The Sheriff's Office reminds residents that some scam artists use legitimate business fronts, such as banks, to try to obtain personal information that can then be used to steal an identity or money.

If a caller already has your home address, the Sheriff's Office suggests asking them to forward their organizational information or request via mail. If they are legitimate, they shouldn't mind if the transaction is handled by US Mail.