Monterey County

Increased Reports of Phone Scams Hitting the Central Coast

Deputies said that they have seen a a huge increase of reports about a phone scam involving a fake threat of jail time if you do not pay up.

The scammers are calling on landlines and cell phones, said deputies. They initially call and claim to be an attorney and say that you have a warrent out for your arrest and you need to pay a fine or face going to jail, said deputies. 

To make it harder for you to detect the scam, deputies said the scammers have it set up so the caller id displays a working number for the real Monterey County Sheriff's Department.

The sheriff's department offered this advice for spotting a scam phone call, "Typically, the phone rings and someone states they are contacting you because  you won money, etc. and that you must send money to pay a fee or a tax to receive the prize or to help a relative.  The caller will state the money is needed to solve the "situation" and in many cases the callers insist and will call multiple times.  Often citizens have reported the calls came from a foreign nation.  Another theme is that a "relative" was robbed or lost their wallet/purse and needs money to get back to the United States.  Directions are then given to send a money order from a local business address close to your residence.  The IRS has issued warnings of scammers claiming to be employees and demanding money.  It is possible the callers are obtaining personal information from Facebook or other social networking programs."

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