Washoe County Sheriff’s Office warns of phone scam

March 17, 2014

The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office warns area residents about an emerging phone scam in the Washoe County area in which the scammers are posing as local law enforcement personnel to fraudulently obtain money from innocent victims. The scam is called the “Arrest Warrant Scam” and Undersheriff Tim Kuzanek said that scammers tend to target vulnerable people such as the elderly and those who are new to the country.

Scammers telephone potential victims and identify themselves as a representative from a local law enforcement agency such as the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office. They may represent themselves as being with other local law enforcement agencies as well. The scammer tells the person there is a warrant out for their arrest for a certain amount of fine. The reason for the warrant is represented as being anything from a traffic violation to failure to pay full income tax requirements to the Internal Revenue Service.

The scammer then tells the potential victim that their options are either to surrender themselves to the Sheriff’s Office for arrest, or that they may pay a “reduced” payment of the fine to adjudicate the warrant. The scammer then provides instruction on how the payment should be submitted, usually through an “eGift” cash card or similar payment to a specified account or name given by the caller.

“Although the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office will sometimes make calls to inform someone about a warrant, we never ask for payment over the phone or negotiate for payment in lieu of arrest,” Undersheriff Kuzanek said. “Anyone with questions about a warrant may call the courts and local law enforcement agencies. No agency in the region offers reduced rates or takes payments over the phone for warrants and fines.”

Undersheriff Kuzanek urges anyone who has been a victim of this scam, or who receives such a call, to take down as much information as possible, such as a name and call back number, without giving any information away. Then, immediately contact the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office at (775) 785-WCSO (9276).

Source: Washoe County Sheriff’s Office press release.

(Note: This is the blog for NewToReno.com, my website about Reno, Sparks, and northern Nevada.)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: