Authorities are investigating scam phone calls from someone claiming to be a sheriff’s official that have targeted residents across Los Angeles County, even reaching its chief attorney.
The caller threatens repercussions for failing to attend jury duty, and victims have been reporting the activity to sheriff’s stations throughout the county for several weeks, the Sheriff’s Department said in a Monday news release.
County Counsel Mary C. Wickham received such a call on her personal cellphone on Saturday, officials said.
In that incident, the caller identified himself as a sheriff’s sergeant and told Wickham he would arrest her at home after she disputed his claims, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The callers have been able to mask their phone numbers in some instances to make it appear as if they’re calling from within the Sheriff’s Department, investigators said.
Authorities are looking into “multiple criminal reports” filed at “various stations,” but the probe remains in its early stages, according to the news release.
Law enforcement officials do not call citizens to intimidate or coerce money for unpaid citations, outstanding warrants or the failure to attend jury duty, the department said. Anyone who receives such a call should decline to give out any personal or financial information.
Victims of the scam can contact the Sheriff’s Department at 213-229-1700.