By Laura Dixon, Bay City News Service
East Bay residents are being advised not to fall for a scammer who
has been impersonating a Contra Costa County sheriff's lieutenant and demanding
money from people to clear up fabricated traffic tickets or other violations, a
sheriff's spokesman said Thursday.
Over the past week, residents from Martinez and San Leandro have reported receiving calls from a man who identifies himself as Contra Costa County sheriff's "Lt. Jackson of the Warrant Unit." During the calls, the man tells individuals that they must pay hundreds of dollars in fines or fees because they failed to appear in court for jury duty or a traffic violation, sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Lee said.
Multiple people have fallen for the scam, sending money to the suspect via prepaid credit cards, according to the spokesman.
Lee said there is no Lt. Jackson working for the sheriff's office and no "warrant unit," nor would any law enforcement agency have anyone avoid an arrest warrant using re-loadable, pre-paid cards.
The sheriff's office investigated a similar scam targeting residents of Brentwood, Antioch and Pittsburg last September. In that scam, the caller identified himself as "Lt. Stevens" and told people they had to send money in order to avoid an arrest warrant.
Anyone who receives this type of phone call should refuse to provide any personal information to the caller and hang up the phone and report the incident to a local law enforcement agency.
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