Sheriff’s Office warns residents of scam caller pretending to be officer
Several residents reported receiving scam calls from someone pretending to be a sergeant with the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office and asking for money to settle an arrest warrant.
The scammer has been making calls from a local number — 970-360-2136 — and claims to be Sgt. Jonathan Lovins of the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, according to a recent press release.
In one instance, the scammer swore at a victim when they refused to give out personal information and then hung up on them.
This person is not employed by the Sheriff’s Office. Residents who receive a call like this should not give any money, gift cards or personal information to this individual. Instead, hang up and report the call to the Sheriff’s Office.
These kinds of scammers often use confusing stories about how arrest warrants are being completed, “possibly due to COVID,” and ask victims to go to the bank or give up personal information to complete a payment, according to the release.
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After receiving several reports like this, deputies with the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office called the scammer’s number and were prompted to leave a message for the Sheriff’s Office “warrants and citations division.“
The Sheriff’s Office receives many reports of various scam calls with scammers threatening or promising a variety of things to get personal financial information, according to the release.
“Scammers will continue to give names of senior members of law enforcement teams. They are threatening arrests and direct payments for funds to remove warrants, for failure to appear, for being in contempt of court, and more,” the release stated. “This is simply NOT how we do business. Beware that scammers have technology that can appear to be calling from a local phone number, a local business, or even a law enforcement agency. Just hang up, call the agency (they claim to be from) back directly, and ask for the person who said they were calling you.”
Anyone who has already given personal information, money, or gift cards to a scammer should call the Vail Dispatch Center’s non-emergency line at (970) 479-2201 to speak with an on-duty sheriff’s deputy.
“A caller who creates a sense of urgency or uses high-pressure tactics is probably a scam artist,” according to the Federal Trade Commission. The scammer often demands payment in a specific way, such as by gift card, wire transfer or with cryptocurrency, or asks for personal information like your Social Security number, credit card or bank account number.
“Refund” or “warranty” scam calls involve scammers offering a refund for a product or service before asking for personal financial information. But instead of returning money into your account, they withdraw money.
For a complete list of the most current and common scams, including new schemes dealing with COVID-19, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information website at Consumer.FTC.gov/scam-alerts.
To report internet crimes and fraud go to IC3.gov.