LONE TREE, Colo. (CBS4) – A new national phone scam is targeting residents in Douglas County.
A person claiming to be a deputy is calling residents and saying they have missed jury duty. The scammer says that unless the resident pays a hefty fine of several hundred dollars immediately, they risk going to jail.
Officials said that 16 people have been scammed since February, and that each victim has lost between $600 and $900.
Douglas County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Ron Hanavan told CBS4 his department would never make such a collection call.
“They are saying ‘You have a warrant for your arrest and in order to take care of this warrant you can pay a fee over the phone and everything will go away,’ ” Hanavan said.
Hanavan said the caller is a male and identifies himself as a Douglas County deputy. He said victims are told to go to a grocery store to purchase a Green Dot MoneyPak card and then to give the card number to the deputy over the phone. The money is then instantly transferred to the scammer.
“(The scam is) not specific to male, female in age group. It’s anybody who answers the phone,” Hanavan said.
Bob Paulson lives in Lone Tree’s Acres Green neighborhood, which is one area that’s being targeted by the scam. He said his grandmother recently got a scam call that was slight different.
“My grandmother got a phone call stating that I was personally in trouble, and they needed to wire money to help me out,” he said. “She said absolutely not.”
Paulson said he feels sorry for the victims of the current scam.
The sheriff’s office warns that residents should never wire money to anyone claiming to be a police officer who can get them out of a certain situation. They said consumers should also be very careful about giving personal information to anyone unless they are 100 percent sure who they are talking to.