Variations on a theme. An old scam is making the rounds again. Be aware of what is real and what is not.
**** UPDATE **** On April 8, 2014 Deputies with the Utah County Sheriff's Office received 3 more calls from concerned citizens. These people were called by a male claiming to represent the Utah County Sheriff's Office. They were told they had ignored a summons for jury duty and there was a now a warrant for their arrest. The people were then told they could clear the warrant by getting a cash card and giving the caller the number to that card. In a similar case on March 10, 2014, Provo Police responded to a report of this same scenario, with a caller claiming to be a Lieutenant with the Utah County Sheriff's Office. This man gave the caller information for two cash cards. Police have been unable to identify a suspect in that case
One of the unique things about this particular scam is that the caller is using the names of current or former employees of the Utah County Sheriff's Office in their approach. Sheriff Jim Tracy wants to reiterate that when any legitimate representative of the Utah County Sheriff's Office calls to make a person aware of a warrant they will NEVER ask for debit card, credit card, cash card, or any other kind of financial information over the phone. They will provide information about how that person can clear the warrant and pay any bail amount due. Any person who receives a legitimate call like this can also go to the website for the Utah County Sheriff's Office or the Utah County Justice Court to verify that the information given is correct. They can then call the Sheriff's Office or the Court to verify the information. But NEVER give financial information to someone who calls you. Any legitimate caller will understand this.
If you receive one of these calls, pay attention to, and document, any information the caller gives you. Then immediately report the contact to your local law enforcement agency.
*** PREVIOUS NOTICE *** Deputies with the Utah County Sheriff's Office have received reports from citizens who were called asking for money to pay off a warrant. This scam has made the rounds in the past and seems to be rearing its head again. The callers will identify themselves as being from the Utah County Sheriff's Office and have even used the name of an actual Deputy who currently works for the Sheriff's Office. The caller, in recent cases, has either asked that the person give them a debit card number or go to a nearby store, such as Walmart, and purchase a cash card. They are then asked to call back with PIN information for that card to supposedly pay off a fine. Other law enforcement agencies in Utah County have encountered similar reports recently.
Sheriff Tracy wants citizens to understand that we may have legitimate employees call to remind them of a warrant and tell them how they can clear it up or pay for it. What legitimate employees will NEVER do is ask for payment of bail over the phone. If an employee of the Sheriff's Office calls they can tell you options for payment but that will not include asking for any kind of credit, debit, or other financial information.
Additionally, a person who has a warrant CAN call the Utah County Justice Court at (801)851-7200 where they can pay bail for a warrant or the fine for a citation over the phone. Utah County Justice Court employees will never call and solicit these payments by phone.
For questions contact Sergeant Spencer Cannon, Public Information Officer, Utah County Sheriff's Office. (801)404-1912