Sheriff's Office warning: beware of unsolicited phone calls


Deputies from the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office are warning residents to be wary of unsolicited phone calls that make demands for payment and include a threat of consequences -- such as arrest or prosecution -- if payment is not made.

The Sheriff's Office notes, in a July 22 statement, the three scams that are current:

■ The caller claims to be a deputy sheriff and demands a fee in connection with a failure to appear for jury duty, threatening arrest if the fee is not paid using a prepaid card.

■ The caller claims to be from the Internal Revenue Service and threatens prosecution if back taxes are not paid.

■ The caller claims to represent Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. and threatens a power shut-off if an unpaid balance is not paid immediately.

None of these organizations demand payment from the public by way of unsolicited phone calls, deputies say. Their advice: Do not provide anyone with personal information such as Social Security numbers and credit card numbers unless you are initiating the call.

People who think they have been victims of a scam should contact their local law enforcement agencies.

Go to this link to report an IRS scam.


Like this comment
Posted by Agnes Brydges
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 27, 2014 at 11:27 pm

A strange sounding man called me one day last year asking me to help an official of the South African government free up some funds that were owed to him. He suggested that my friends from church and I each contribute a certain sum, so that we could pay a fee of $160,000 to those criminals who were holding the funds. Each of us were to receive a bonus, over and above our original investment, as gratitude for helping release the funds owed to this official from the South African government. I told him I would have to ask my son to look into this, and I never heard anything more from him. We who are over a certain age must be careful of what my son refers to as con artists.

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