Sheriff's Office warns of phone scammers impersonating deputies

Coconino County Sheriff's Office is warning people of phone scams where the caller impersonates a deputy.

Coconino County Sheriff's Office is warning people of phone scams where the caller impersonates a deputy.

Coconino County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) is alerting residents to reports of fraudulent phone calls in which the caller claims to be a Coconino County Sheriff's Deputy calling about an outstanding warrant. The caller then tells the resident they need to pay to take care of the outstanding warrant.

CCSO advises this is a scam and to not give out personal or financial information out to the caller and to contact their local law enforcement office.

CCSO said phone scams are happening every day and released the following information so residents can stay more informed:

– Scammers often pose as real people affiliated with financial institutes, police officers, court officers, utility companies, credit card company, IRS, computer company, voter registration agency, a distant relative in need of help, etc. – they often use authority type positions to bully and scare people into falling victim to their scam.

– Do not give out your date of birth, social security number or financial information unless you are sure you are speaking with a legitimate agent.

– Scammers also use feel good scams and pose as a volunteer asking for donations for a charity, as a company offering you a prize, as a lawyer trying to contact you over an inheritance, as an agency offering to help you fix your credit. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

– Scammers often spoof phone numbers to show up on caller ID to look like they are legitimate agency or local numbers

– Scammers often ask for payment through Green Dot, gift cards, smart cards – the Sheriff's Office will never ask you to pay a fine in this way. If they ask that payment be mailed to an address or post office box, you can confirm using the phone book or official web page of the agency if it is a legitimate address of the agency

– Be very careful not to give out your personal information – even guard your phone number. Many phone apps actually access all of your contact which then gives an app developer access to information on your phone which they may then sell – this allows scammers to know your network of friends and to pose as them.

– Be wary of calling back the number listed on caller ID (or replying to a text message) unless you can verify it’s legitimate. For example – you would want to use the phone number on the back of your credit card rather than a phone number provider by a caller to confirm whether what the caller told you was legitimate

– Use government pages in the phone book or the agency’s official website to get the official phone number to call back.

Protect yourself

  • Ask for written information

  • Ask a lot of questions

  • Check out the company on the Better Business Bureau

  • Tell the caller to put you on their do not call list

  • DO NOT SEND a check, cash, money wire, or give out your account information to anyone insisting immediate payment with which you did not initiate the contact

Report scams to your local law enforcement agency.

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