As the holiday seasons approach, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department has issued a warning of continuing phone scams and frauds.
A notable and common scheme involves a caller who claims to be a member of law enforcement or an employee of the Riverside County court system. The victim is told he or she has a warrant for failing to appear for jury duty.
The caller demands payment for the warrant via credit card information or a Green Dot card. The suspect typically remains on the phone with the victim while he or she travels to the store to obtain the Green Dot card.
The suspect further instructs the victim not to tell anyone who they are talking with. After obtaining the serial numbers to the Green Dot cards, the money deposited to the card is immediately removed by the suspect.
The Sheriff’s Department urges vigilance and always to question unsolicited telephone calls from deceptive businesses, banking institutions, foreign countries, or government agencies where monetary promises or threats are implied or made directly.
No Riverside County Court or Sheriff’s Department employee will ever contact the public and ask for financial information or payment in lieu of attending court proceedings, or to make up for failure to appear for jury duty.
Other fraud schemes involve mortgage assistance, outstanding tax collection, foreign government assistance, and even promise to return lost money are impacting citizens throughout the county. These scammers almost always request money to be paid up front for illegitimate services, or the threat of arrest, eviction or property seizure is made.
For more information regarding other scams, visit www.riversidesheriff.org/crime/fraud.asp.