Merced County Sheriff’s Office warns of bizarre phone scam. Here’s what you should know

Local News
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If you got a call saying there’s a warrant out for your arrest for not showing up to jury duty in Merced County, it was a scam.

The Merced County Sheriff’s Office has received several reports of a telephone scam alerting victims of an arrest warrant, and to buy gift cards to avoid being arrested.

A victim says an unknown male calls and claims to be a deputy or captain from the sheriff’s office.

The victim was then told in order to avoid arrest, they needed to drive to Walmart and Target to purchase twenty $100 Google Play gift cards and eight $100 Apple gift cards.

A total of $2800 in “fines.”

The subject then keeps the victim on the phone the entire time while asking how far the victim was to each store. Once the cards are purchased, the victim is told to provide the gift card and pin numbers through text messages.

Finally, the caller instructs the victim to drive to the sheriff’s office to turn themselves in. That’s when the victim went into the lobby of the sheriff’s office and found out they had been scammed.

The sheriff’s office released a statement about what to do if you receive a fraudulent call:

The Merced County Sheriff’s Office would like to public to be aware that we never solicit calls for money in lieu of arrest from anyone. If you have a warrant for your arrest, we will be happy to provide you with a ride, free of charge, to one of our local holding facilities or provide you with a citation and a court date.

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