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Scam Callers Pose as Police, Request Credit Card Info

Several people have been victimized in the East Bay, specifically in Martinez and San Leandro.

BY JANE MCINNIS

The Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff is warning the public about an individual who is impersonating an employee of the Office of the Sheriff.   

The scammer, who police say is an unknown man, calls residents in the East Bay claiming to be “Lieutenant Jackson of the Warrant Unit."

The caller tells listeners that they failed to appear for jury duty or a traffic violation. Unless they pay hundreds of dollars in fines and fees, a warrant will be issued for their arrest, the caller says.

In order to avoid this, the impostor instructs listeners to make payment over the phone through re-loadable prepaid cards that could be purchased a local store.

There is no one by that name employed by the Office of the Sheriff nor is there a “warrant unit." It is not the practice of any law enforcement agency to have people avoid an arrest warrant by paying through re-loadable prepaid cards.

A similar situation cropped up in Contra Costa in September 2013, when a man claiming to be "Lt. Stevens," called homes in the East Bay making the same request.

Sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Lee said it's "pretty difficult" to catch the offender, as they have no information as to where the person is located. The sheriff's department has received five reports of such calls over the last few days.

Anyone receiving such a call should refuse to provide any personal information to the caller or simply hang up. The sheriff's department urges those who received a call to contact their local law enforcement agency to notify them of the incident.

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