FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. - The Fresno County Sheriff's Office wants you to be aware of an ongoing phone scam. They say the callers are claiming to be Fresno County deputies and Fresno Police officers.
Authorities say it's simply money they want, using the title of law enforcement to scare their victims and a well disguised message to convince whoever calls back.
"You have reached the Fresno County Sheriff's Office. Warrants processing and civil services division," said the message.
The automated message is not connected to the Fresno County Sheriff's Office in any way. Instead, it's a scam to get the person on the other line to pay up. A scam authorities say is becoming common.
"It comes in waves. I would say that this past week is one of the heavier ones that we've had in quite a while," said Tony Botti with the Fresno County Sheriff's Office.
According to the Sheriff's Office, a scammer will give you a local number to call, leading you to that message after being told there's a warrant out for your arrest.
"All payments must be processed via cash through our electronic security voucher kiosk system located within the department," said the automated message.
Botti says some people have been fooled and came to the department to pay their fines. Bob Jones did not fall for the scam.
"I called that number and he answered as Detective McDonald," said Jones.
Jones says the detective told him he missed jury duty but Jones actually lives in Madera County.
"And I automatically knew that it wasn't gonna be real," said Jones.
The Sheriff's Office says it never calls anyone over the phone for payment of fines. As for Jones, he knew the get go.
"And I said that's really awesome. Thank you very much for the phone call and he hesitated," said Jones.
If you get a call like this, you're urged to document all the information you can and report it to authorities.