Yolo County DA’s office warns of scam phone calls

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Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig is warning residents to beware of a recent telephone scam. The official sounding phone calls, which often state the targeted individual’s name, date of birth and physical address, are designed to frighten recipients into responding quickly, while they are upset and not thinking clearly. The scammers demand immediate payment from the victim in order to avoid arrest.

These scammers speak in a very threatening tone and they often leave voicemails with information about being a locator service that details alleged court cases, civil judgments or warrants which do not actually exist. They have even “spoofed,” (or used) the Yolo County Sheriff Office’s phone number, so that it will register the Sheriff’s phone number on recipients’ caller ID when they receive the phone call.

On Feb. 21, these scammers contacted the District Attorney himself, attempting to locate another individual, saying that they had a judgment against him and that there would be consequences if he did not respond. The audio recording of this voicemail can be heard here: https://yoloda.org/scam-alert-yolo-county-das-office-warns-residents-scam-phone-calls-threatening-arrest-payment-not-made-immediately/.

In this most recent example, Yolo County District Attorney investigators, acting as the named target of the call, called the scammers back and were informed by the scammers that this “attempt to collect a debt” was the result of a bad check that was alleged to have been written in 2013.

The scammers demanded $500 in a credit card payment in order to clear the case.  They threatened that if the $500 was not paid immediately, they would continue with a court action in the amount of over $2,000. One scammer fraudulently claimed to be a Yolo County sheriff’s deputy. Law enforcement is pursuing the scammers and a criminal investigation is ongoing.

As with most scams, the con-artists are either trying to scare the victim into “wiring” money or trying to get personal information like social security or credit card numbers. Legitimate companies who are attempting to get in contact with you regarding a civil judgment do so via mail with official court documents only. They will never call you or ask for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the phone.

Reisig stated, “As demonstrated by this recent scam attempt, nobody is immune from being targeted by con-artists. This a reminder to remain vigilant against these types of scams and to never give out your personal information to an unsolicited caller.”

If you have fallen victim to this scam, where the callers claimed to be Yolo County sheriff’s deputies, and actually given your information to them or lost money, contact Sergeant Matt Davis at the Yolo County Sheriff’s Department, 530-668-5280.

For more information about this and other types of scams or to report suspected scams to the Yolo County District Attorney, call the Fraud Hotline, 855-4-YOLO-DA or visit Yoloda.org.

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