Phone scammers claiming to be Sonoma County sheriff’s deputies are telling people to pay up or be arrested, according to Petaluma police.

A spate of calls from con artists purporting to be representatives of Pacific Gas & Electric was reported by Petaluma police earlier this year. Now, instead of threatening to turn off the lights, scammers are threatening a trip to Sonoma County Jail.

The scammers, claiming to be deputies, have told victims that they have outstanding arrest warrants and will be arrested if they don’t purchase “Green Dot” prepaid credit card and provide them card information over the phone, Petaluma police said.

Calls typically appear to come from local numbers, police said. So far thousands of dollars have been lost to the scam, police said.

You can reach Staff Writer Nick Rahaim at 707-521-5203 or nick.rahaim@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @nrahaim.