Don't take a call if your caller ID identifies the caller as “SAN FRANCISCO COUNTY,” and don’t pay the $5,000-$10,500 fine they’re demanding for some non-existent arrest, as it’s the latest scam hitting San Francisco.
There’s a new scam in town, which involves impersonating the sheriff in town. KPIX reports that scammers have been spoofing a number that appears to be that of the SF Sheriff’s Office on your caller ID. The caller ID number displays as “SAN FRANCISCO COUNTY,” and once these imposters have you on the phone, they claim you have an arrest on your record or that you failed to show for a court date, and you can only make these problems go away by paying them several thousands of dollars over the phone.
“Thieves claiming to work for the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office have been calling residents by phone and demanding thousands of dollars as part of an imposter scam,” the Sheriff's Office said in a Tuesday announcement. “The individuals will often call from a spoofed caller ID ‘SAN FRANCISCO COUNTY’, identify themselves as a specific deputy or sergeant, and threaten arrest for failing to respond to a federal warrant or subpoena, for not appearing for jury duty, and for not taking care of citations.”
The con artists then say that you can make the matter go away with a simple and immediate payment to them between $5,000 and $10,500, right over the phone. And reportedly, they have conned at least one SF victim out of the sum.
As a reminder, the SF Sheriff’s Office does not collect fees over the phone under circumstances.
If you receive one of these scam phone calls, you’re asked to call 415-554-7225 to report it. You can also file a report online to the FBI – Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.IC3.Gov, or to the Federal Trade Commission at www.reportfraud.ftc.gov.
Image: Joe Kukura, SFist