Scammers are trying to con Los Angeles County residents out of cash by calling and posing as sheriff’s deputies who demand thousands of dollars to clear up non-existent warrants, court officials warned Tuesday.
The scammers tell victims that they are in contempt of court for missing jury service and a warrant has been issued for their arrest, according to Los Angeles Superior Court officials.
The victims are told the only way to clear up the warrant is to pay the bail, in amounts from $2,000 to $5,000, and once it is paid, they can go to the courthouse to get the paperwork clearing them of the warrant.
The scammers contact the victims by phone and tell them to go to a supermarket or Office Depot and purchase Reloadit cards with the money. Once purchased, the victims are told to read off the numbers on the cards to the person on the phone.
The victims are then instructed to mail the cards to the local courthouse, not realizing that the cards were compromised as soon as they gave the numbers over the phone.
The scammers are persistent, calling until they are able to speak with someone over the phone.
Court personnel will never contact the public over the phone to demand payment. Sensitive personal information such as a Social Security number is never requested by court staff, and credit card information is only requested if a member of the public contacts the court to make a payment.
–City News Service
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