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Fake deputies threaten to make arrests in latest scam PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Wednesday, 14 February 2018 19:58

Targets of sham are told they’re wanted on warrants, need to transfer $1,000

    Don’t get worried if you get a call from the Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Office telling you there’s a warrant out for your arrest and an immediate wire transfer of $1,000 will keep you out of jail.
    It’s a scam, Sheriff Jim Johnson said Tuesday.
    “This isn’t us. This isn’t how we collect warrants,” he said.
    Johnson said his office has received a handful of reports recently from people in Cedarburg, Saukville and Cedar Grove who received these scam calls.
    In one instance, he said, the person provided deputies with the telephone number of the caller.
    “We called the number back and talked to somebody,” Johnson said. “Then they changed the number.”    
    Anyone receiving these calls should call the Sheriff’s Office at 284-7172 to see if there actually is a warrant out for them, he said.
    “Call our general number — not the one they give you,” he said. “Most people know if there’s a warrant out for them.
    “We do call people about warrants, but that’s not how we collect on them.”
    While the callers are using the name of a local entity — the Sheriff’s Office — and in some cases the names of actual officers, Johnson said he doesn’t believe the scammers are local.
    “They go to our website to find our names and give them some legitimacy,” Johnson said.
    He compared it to recent calls alleging to be from the Internal Revenue Service, with  the scam artists claiming they need immediate payment or the person answering will be arrested.
    “I think a lot of people are on to the IRS scheme, so they’re trying something else,” Johnson said. “People trust their law enforcement agencies.
    “And if they get a couple of bucks from somebody, it pays off for them.”
    Johnson said he doesn’t know of any case in which someone wired money to the scam artists.
    It’s not just the Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Office that’s dealing with these calls, Johnson added.
    Sheriff’s departments in Walworth and Waukesha counties have received similar reports, he said.Daily Press