The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office has received multiple reports from residents who say they’ve received telephone calls from individuals posing as Sheriff’s Office staff. These callers are telling residents that there is a warrant out for their arrest because they missed a federal court appearance and are in contempt.
The phone scammers tell residents that they will be arrested unless they pay a fine. The scammers often encourage residents to purchase prepaid money transfer cards, such as MoneyPak, call the scammer back and read them the numbers on the cards.
In several reported instances, the scammers have claimed to be Lieutenant James Taylor of the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office. The office does not have an employee by that name.
The Sheriff’s Office 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 should not provide any personal information or make any payments to the caller.
Anyone who believes they have been victimized by a scam caller 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 uncertain about the identity of a caller, hang up the phone, locate the official phone number of the agency, and call the number directly.