Phone scammers latest trick involves fake civil judgment

Ada County Sheriff’s Office deputies will never call and threaten to arrest you because you have an outstanding civil judgment — or missed jury duty — or have a federal arrest warrant — or anything like that.

Deputies will also never ask you to place funds for payment on a pre-paid credit card to “cancel the arrest warrant” for the fake civil judgment, or having a phony federal arrest warrant, or some other made-up charge.

Scammers will do that. In fact, they are doing it to Ada County citizens right now. They use phone numbers with a 208 area code and use the names of current ACSO employees to sell the ruse. The most prevalent version of the scam used to be about missing jury duty, but the latest version involves phony civil judgments.

The scammers pretend to be sergeants from the ACSO and tell people they need to pay a civil judgment.

They usually tell their victims to go to a store, get a pre-paid credit card (like a Green Dot), load it up with money, and then call a phone number with the card information.

In reality, if one of our deputies had to file a civil judgment, they would try to find you in person and leave cards with call-back numbers on them several times before calling – and that would be to set up a meet so they can serve the judgment.

They will never ask you to wire or transfer money electronically. That is a sure sign of the scam.

Several Ada County residents reported getting the phone calls over the last month or so.

The scammers get the numbers and make the calls over the internet with burner cell phones, making them very hard to trace.

The Better Business Bureau is aware of the scam and says people can protect themselves from becoming victims of identify theft by never giving out any personal information when getting an unsolicited phone call.

Giving out sensitive information over the phone — both personal and financial — can put you at risk for fraud.

If you have received one of these scam phone calls, contact the Ada County Sheriff’s Office at (208) 377-6790 or the Better Business Bureau  for more info.

 

 

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