Sheriff’s Office warns of several scam calls demanding money, threatening jail

Phone Call From Unknown Number Late At Night. Scam, Fraud Or Phishing With Smartphone Concept. Prank Caller, Scammer Or Stranger. Man Answering To Incoming Call.

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office is warning of an ongoing phone scam where criminals pretend to be a member of the Sheriff’s Office, calling to demand money and threatening victims with arrest.

The Sheriff’s Office says they, or any government agency or court, will never call and demand money, especially to get someone out of going to jail.

Most recently, authorities say the scammer claims to be “Sergeant Lance,” spoofing their phone number on caller ID so it looks like victims are actually getting a call from the Sheriff’s Office. The scammer then claims the victim failed to appear for a summons and now has a warrant for their arrest.

They then demand payment through prepaid credit cards to keep the victim from going to jail.

The Sheriff’s Office was tipped off to this scam when a person received this call, saying it was very convincing but they opted to check with Crime Check first, where they learned it was a scam call.

Authorities say there are similar scams like this going on—including an IRS scam, Social Security scam, Publisher’s Clearing house scam and others. They all claim the victim is in some kind of financial or legal trouble, and they can get out of it by sending prepaid credit cards to the caller.

The Sheriff’s Office says, simply, don’t fall for it. Hang up and look up the agency’s phone number online or in a phone book, call them and verify.

If you get a scam call, you are urged to report it to the FTC or to Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.