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Scam Calls Threaten Target With Jail Time

Brian Bull

Scammers are riling up local residents by claiming to be with the Lane County Sheriff’s Office, and that the victim is facing arrest for skipping jury duty.

Sergeant Carrie Carver said there are variations on this scam.  Sometimes the violation is an unpaid parking ticket, or they missed a court date. But she added the scammer always hits up the victim for gift cards or similar payment.

“The sheriff’s office will never call you to let you know that you have a warrant out for your arrest, that’s a type of thing that we make a personal visit to you for," Carver told KLCC.

"And generally speaking, scammers are going to be asking for payment in the form of a money order, or a money card, a cash card or gift card, something like that that.  We would never ask for payment in some of those forms because they’re really non-trackable.”

Carver said scammers have been able to “spoof” the call so the caller ID makes it look like it’s coming from the Lane County Sheriff’s Office.  She said so far, no one has fallen for it to her knowledge.

Copyright 2021, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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