The Sheriff's Office is warning the community about a telephone scam where the scammers are identifying themselves as deputies with the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office.
Deputy Jason Braley, a member of the Sheriff's Crime Reduction Team, received an email message from a concerned community member who shared with Deputy Braley what had happened to them.
They reported that an unknown male suspect called on the telephone trying to get the victim to believe that a family member was wanted by law enforcement.
Scammers called the victim on the phone and initially identified themselves as a lawyer representing the Social Security administration. They told the victim that a family member had committed fraud and needed to pay a fine in the amount of $1,500 in order to avoid going to jail.
The victim became suspicious and hung up the phone. The suspects called back and a female with an accent told the victim she worked out of the Sheriff's Office on Hackett Road. She threatened the victim saying they were going to come and arrest the family member at their place of employment. The suspect's call was disconnected and when she called back again, the caller ID displayed a number out of Seattle, Wash.
When Google was used to search the phone number (206) 708-2849, multiple postings about fraud were found to be associated with this number.
The Sheriff's Office wants residents to know that law enforcement is not working with the Social Security Administration on fraud-related cases and that if you're contacted by anyone identifying themselves as a deputy sheriff or Sheriff's employee, ask for a full name, title/rank and department ID or badge number.
If you're still unsure about the call, ask the Sheriff's employee for their phone number at the Sheriff's Office or call the Sheriff's Office back using a published public telephone number and ask to speak with the deputy sheriff or employee who called.
Anyone receiving a telephone call, text message, email or other electronic communication asking for personal information of any kind, banking, credit card information etc. should immediately be suspicious.
Never give personal information of any kind to anyone you don't know. Never respond to any electronic communication asking for personal information or banking information. Delete the text message or email message.
For more information about various scam alerts, go to: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts.