The Lake County Sheriff’s Department has issued a fraud alert for a phone scam involving fraudsters claiming there is an active warrant out to the person who answers the phone.
The sheriff’s office said they became aware that unknown subjects may have been attempting to rob local residents using a new twist to a warrant scam.
People have reported that when the fraudsters call on the phone, the sound of a police radio or scanner traffic can be heard in the background in an effort to make the call seem legitimate, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. The scammers tell the person on the phone there’s an active warrant for their arrest and demand a cash payment as a surety bond.
The sheriff’s office additionally stated, “The scammers say they will only accept cash and they tell the person to bring it to the court clerk’s office at the Lake County Government Center. What makes this scam particularly troubling is the fraudsters urge the victim to stay on the phone while they are driving to the Government Center. They call it a ‘mobile escort’, claiming they can help the person on the phone avoid getting arrested if they get pulled over while on the way to make their ‘payment’. It’s believed this is a tactic the criminals are using to track the victim’s location and possibly attack and rob them.”
Investigators are working to try to identify the callers.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office said they would like to assure the public that “at no time will the Lake County Sheriff’s Department ever contact a civilian by phone demanding payment for an arrest warrant. Furthermore, officers do not contact members of the public to warn them before making a legitimate arrest.”
Police say that if you are contacted by any subject stating they are from the Lake County Sheriff’s Department and advising you to provide them with any amount of cash, to please contact the Department prior to taking any action.
Anyone with information regarding the suspects, are asked to contact the Criminal Investigations Division of the Lake County Sheriff’s Department at 219-755-3346.