The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department is warning the community of a new phone scam, where scammers are identifying themselves as Sheriff’s Deputies.
Deputy Jason Braley, a member of the Sheriff’s Crime Reduction Team, received an email from a concerned citizen who reported that an unknown man called, attempting to convince the victim that a family member was wanted by authorities.
The scammer initially identified himself as a lawyer representing the Social Security Administration and told the victim a family member had committed fraud. As a result, the family member had to pay a $1,500 fine to avoid jail time, the scammers said.
The victim became suspicious and hung up. The scammers called again, and a female with an accent claimed to work out of the Sheriff’s Department office on Hackett Road in Modesto. She threatened that authorities would arrest the family member at his workplace.
The call was disconnected and the suspect was called once again. This time the caller ID displayed a number from Seattle.
When searching for the phone number, 206-708-2849, on Google, several postings of fraud came up related to the number.
The Sheriff’s Department wants the community to know that they are not working with the Social Security Administration on fraud cases. If contacted by anyone from identifying themselves as a deputy or Sheriff’s Department employee, ask for their full name, title/rank and department or badge number, the department says.
If still unsure, ask the Sheriff’s Department employee for their phone number at the office, or call the Sheriff’s Department office back on a published public phone number and ask to speak with the individual who called.
Residents should be suspicious of phone calls, text messages, emails or other communication asking for personal, banking or credit card information.
The Sheriff’s Department warns to never give personal information of any kind to any stranger, and to never respond to electronic communication asking for personal or banking information.