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Sheriff warns on arrest warrant scam

  • 6/4/2006: A1: none

    PC: Photo by Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat A suspect is searched before being booked into the Sonoma County Main Adult Detention Facility in Santa Rosa on Thursday morning, November 11, 2004.

Sonoma County sheriff's officials warned Wednesday of a variation on a scam the Sonoma County Superior Court reported earlier this week, where someone attempted to defraud people by telling them they missed jury duty.

The sheriff's dispatch center received several calls on March 4 from citizens worried that someone was trying to scam them, according to a statement issued by the Sheriff's Office.

They said a man identifying as a sheriff's employee called them, using the alias Brent Jones or Tommy Jones. He told them that there was an active warrant for their arrest and that to clear the warrant they must make a payment using a "Green Dot" card, which can be purchased at drug and grocery stores. Next, he told them, they must call a voice mail box and leave a message with the identification number of the card they bought.

Earlier this week, the court warned of a similar issue, where at least four people reported being called by an man who didn't identify himself. He told them there was a warrant for their arrest because they had failed to appear for jury duty and that they must pay a fine to clear the warrant.

Sheriff's officials warned residents not to give personal information or money to anyone seeking payment to clear an arrest.

They also urged residents to immediately contact law enforcement if they receive such a call.


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