The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents about telephone scams in which individuals pose as representatives of local law enforcement agencies.
These individuals are telling residents that there is a warrant out for their arrest because they missed a federal jury date. The phone scammers tell residents that they will be arrested unless they pay a fine, and often suggest purchasing gift cards, calling the scammer back, and reading them the numbers on the cards. The victim is then told to contact their local sheriff’s office to get a federal number for proof that the warrant has been cleared.
HCSO and other law enforcement agencies will never contact individuals via phone or email to ask for any kind of payment. If individuals receive such a call, they are advised to not provide any personal information to the caller. Rather, they should record the caller’s number, save any voicemails that may have been left by the caller, and contact their local law enforcement agency.
Individuals should not rely on caller ID or recorded messages to verify the origin of a phone call. In some cases, phone scammers are able to use technology to appear as if they are calling from a legitimate law enforcement or government agency number. Scammers have also been known to create fraudulent recorded messages that identify their number as originating from law enforcement.
If people are uncertain about the identity of a caller, hang up the phone, locate the official phone number of the agency, and call the number directly.