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Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff's Station Press Release - Phone Scam Alert

 

PHONE SCAM IMPERSONATING LAW ENFORCEMENT – DON’T BE A VICTIM!

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s – Malibu/Lost Hills Station warns area residents about phone scams impersonating law enforcement.

In an effort to protect our local residents from becoming a victim, the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station is providing this public service message about an ongoing telephone scam. With an increasing amount of fraud that reaches people across the country, phone scammers are using the threat of arrest warrants to pressure people into paying hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department wants residents to be aware that the Lost Hills Station has received calls from residents in which the scammers impersonate Sheriff’s Department personnel in an attempt to fraudulently obtain money from innocent victims.

The scammer can also manipulate caller ID to make the number appear to come from the local area, and some scammers have the ability to make the number appear as if it were coming from a sheriff's station or 911. Different scenarios include that there is a warrant from a traffic violation, missed jury duty, failure to pay full income tax requirements to the Internal Revenue Service, or some other minor infraction.

The scammer tells the potential victim that their options are either to surrender themselves to the Sheriff’s Department for arrest or that they may pay a “reduced” payment of the fine to adjudicate the warrant.

The scammer then provides instructions 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. These scam artists use pre-paid phones and many times are not even in the jurisdiction where the crime occurred, making their apprehension difficult.

Although the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station has received multiple calls regarding this fraudulent activity, area residents appear to be savvy enough to not fall for this scam and to contact the station.  Captain Patrick Davoren, Commanding Officer of the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station stated, “The Sheriff's Department will never ask for payment over the phone or offer to negotiate an outstanding warrant for a reduced payment, in lieu of arrest. Anyone with questions about a warrant or a suspicious phone call such as these, should call their local law enforcement agency.”

Anyone who has been a victim of this scam, or who receives such a call, is encouraged to take down as much information as possible, such as a name and call back number, without giving any of their personal information away. Then, immediately contact their local law enforcement agency.

 

A.J. Rotella, Lieutenant
Malibu/Lost Hills Station
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
27050 Agoura Road, Calabasas CA 91301
(818) 878-1808   Office 
(323) 415-7927  Fax    
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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