The Lake County Sheriff’s Department says it has become aware of recent calls to Lake County residents from people pretending to be Lake County police officers. The phony officers attempt to bilk citizens out of thousands of dollars.

The department says it has received more than 14 calls from people who have been contacted by scammers demanding large sums of money as payment for “violations” including a missed court appearance.

The fraudsters then ask the would-be victim to pay using  mobile payment apps including Venmo, Zelle and CashApp and also suggested payment could be made through electronic or virtual currency, bitcoin.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Department says it will not call you to advise you that you have a warrant or demand that you send a payment.

Further, the department says that any calls of this type are not from the Lake County Sheriff’s Department. The department is reminding residents to not give out any personal information, send payments to or agree to meet anyone contacting you with similar claims.

In a video example posted to the department’s Facebook page, one officer called the phone number area residents were complaining about. The voice prompt fraudulently identified the phone number as the Lake County Sheriff’s Department and later asked us to leave a message. Fraud experts advise this is a tactic to obtain your personal information.” 

The department says an investigation into these scams is ongoing.