When someone calls you out of the blue asking for money, it's probably a scam.
A 69-year-old woman in Fashion Valley figured as much, alerting the San Diego County Sheriff's Department last week after someone claiming to be law enforcement told her she'd won $600,000, according to a department announcement. The catch? She had to send this "sergeant" from the Financial Crimes Unit a check to pay taxes on the prize money.
Scammers calling pretending to be law enforcement officials is a common tactic. The recent wave involves individuals calling, claiming residents have outstanding warrants that will go away in exchange for a little cash.
"Callers claim they will clear the arrest warrant or cancel a pending court appearance if the potential victim sends money within a certain time‐frame," according to the sheriff's announcement. "Victims are also told the Sheriff's Department will have a local police officer come to their home and arrest them if they don’t send money."
Sheriff's Department deputies and employees aren't ever supposed to contact the public by phone to demand payment, so don't buy into the scam. However, if you do have an outstanding warrant you can turn yourself in anytime at one of the Sheriff's court offices between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, the department notes.
Have you ever gotten a strange phone call from someone claiming to be in law enforcement? Tell us in the comments.