SCAM Warnings

Scammers continue their attempts to scare, threaten and intimidate you into giving them your money or personal information. PLEASE don’t fall for their criminal tactics, don’t lose your money!!

Local Scam Information Below  

SCAMS Continue in Our Area

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office continues to receive reports of scammers trying to lie, intimidate, and threaten people into giving up their hard-earned money or personal information, leaving them vulnerable to identity theft.  

In the last couple of weeks, we’ve received reports of the Jury Scam, the IRS Scam and the Microsoft Computer Virus Scam.  All of these scams have the same basic premise: a despicable thief threatens/scares an unsuspecting victim as they portray themselves as the “person who just want to help”.  Once they have the victim scared, they:

   a)  convince them to purchase prepaid credit cards, iTunes Cards, or similar items from a local store and provide the card access numbers to the thief; which allows them to steal the money,

   b)  convince them to grant remote access to the victim’s computer or to provide personal information (social security numbers, banking numbers, etc.) setting the victim up for identity theft and fraud.

Do NOT, for any reason, provide any personal or banking information over the phone to anyone you don’t know and trust 100% unless you instigated the call for your own reasons. Law Enforcement, Government or reputable businesses will NOT call and threaten/coerce you into buying prepaid credit cards, providing remote access to computers, or providing personal/banking information. 

If for some reason you “think” it might be a legitimate call, take the time to check out the information on your own.  Do NOT use the phone numbers or contact information the person on the phone is providing; look the information up yourself and make contact with known, published numbers.  Do NOT give in to their threats and intimidation to make you do it “right now or else”.

We, law enforcement (IRS, ANY Sheriff’s Office, Police Department or State Patrol) will NEVER call and threaten your arrest “unless you pay us right now.”  If you get a call like this, it’s a SCAM!  Hang up and report the phone call to Crime Check at 509-456-2233.

No reputable computer company will ever call you and request remote access to your computer and home internet system.  If you receive a call like this, it’s a SCAM!  Hang up and report the phone call to Crime Check at 509-456-2233.  If you happen to be having computer problems but haven’t contacted a company yet, take the caller’s information, hang up and call the company at the phone numbers YOU looked up and verify it’s not a scam.  Once you give remote access to your computer, a scammer can download your personal information stored on that computer (tax records, banking information, important identification numbers etc.).           

Don’t be victimized by these predatory criminals.  Check their stories out.  Understand once you give this type of information or access to ANYONE, you are taking a huge risk with your money and identity.

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SCAM ALERT: Apple Users - Apple will NOT call and request remote access to your computer nor will any other reputable company

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office has been receiving reports of scammers, posing as Apple employees, contacting citizens and informing them their computer or internet had been hacked and eventually, swindling them out of their money. 

This is a SCAM, do not fall for it and lose your money!

On October 12, 2017, a victim in her 70’s reported being victimized by this scam.  She stated she received a call the day before from a male stating her Apple Account had been hacked but he could fix it for a fee.  She was told to go to the store and purchase $800 worth of iTunes gift cards and scan them onto her computer, which she did.  The male was given remote access to her computer where he retrieved the gift card information.  The victim reported the scammer used a phone number of 844-432-5964.

On October 18, 2017, a victim in her 70’s reported she received a phone call from 844-275-2273 the previous day.  During that call, the male scammer claimed to work for Apple Support, advised her internet had been comprised and the Russians had hacked into her system.  He continued the scam by telling the victim she could bring her computer to the Apple Store or he could access her computer remotely and fix the problem for $200.  He told the victim to go to the store and purchase $200 worth of iTunes gifts cards and scan them into her computer, which she did. 

A second scammer told the same victim the iTunes cards were corrupt and she needed to purchase another $200 worth of iTunes gift cards, which she did as instructed.   

The scammer told her the second set of cards were not working and offered to send a technician to her home for $300, but he would send her a $200 check as a partial refund which would arrive on October 18.  The victim stated the check never arrived and she declined a technician. She did not give the scammers any personal information, but it is unknown what information may have been stripped from her computer when they were granted remote access.  The victim stated the two male scammers spoke broken English but could not provide any additional information.

On October 19, 2017, a victim in her 70’s received a call from a scammer claiming to work for Apple.  He explained the victim’s computer had a virus but he could fix it if he was given remote access to her computer; however, before the computer connection was completed, another person at the home quickly turned off the internet router, severing the connection.  The victim reports the scammer called from 844-383-4623. 

NEVER allow a person you don’t personally know and completely trust with every penny you have and with every bit of information you have stored, remote access to your computer (Apple or Windows).  NEVER provide gift card, prepaid credit card or debit/credit card information unless you have independently verified the person/company.

It’s your money, don’t let scammers take it from you.

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 Same Old Warrant Scam: New Name, Slightly Different Story

Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Deputies and Crime Check have been receiving reports of the “You have warrants” scam again.  The first thing to know is ANYTIME someone calls you and demands payment (prepaid credit card, money, personal info) for a warrant or threatens your arrest, it’s a scam.  Law Enforcement or other government agencies will NOT do this.

This time, the predatory scammers are attempting to scare citizens by telling them they witnessed a collision, didn’t show up for court and now a warrant has been issued for their arrest.  They continue to threaten the potential victim and tell them they MUST pay the fine for the warrant with a prepaid credit card.  The scammer identifies himself as part of “Special Investigations” and uses the name “Drew or Andrew Richmond”.  These criminals use fear and intimidation as they attempt to sound “official” by spouting off fake badge numbers, court case or incident numbers and fake warrant numbers/charges.  The phone number used this time is 509-557-3966 but they could be using others.

DO NOT LOSE YOUR MONEY to the predatory criminal scammers who don’t care about you, your family, loved ones, friends, neighbors, coworkers or acquaintances.  They only want your money!

Please tell everyone you know about these scammer’s activities and don’t assume people know about it.  That’s what they are hoping for, a victim they can scare because they haven’t heard about this scam. 

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Release from May 15, 2017:

Scammers Do Some Inaccurate Research but Their Story is the Same - They Count on Fear to Try and Steal Your Money

Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Deputies and Crime Check have been receiving reports of the “Jury Duty” scam again.  The first thing to know is ANYTIME someone calls you and demands payment (prepaid credit card, money, personal info) for a warrant or threatens your arrest, it’s a scam.  Law Enforcement or other government agencies will NOT do this. 

These criminals are counting on your fear to steal your money.  Don’t be fooled!

In these latest reported incidents, the scammers call from 509-315-1741 and claim to be “District Attorney Ellis” who explains the victim has a warrant for missing jury duty and will be arrested if they do not send $1,500 to the United State Treasury in Danville, IL.  When questioned, the scammer provided a fake badge number and stated his boss was Ozzie Knezovich.  Neither Captain Ellis nor Sheriff Knezovich work for the U.S. District Attorney’s Office and, as previously stated, law enforcement will not call and demand payment for anything, ever.

Calling this number brings you to an automated answering service prompting you to provide your name before going any further. 

To be clear, law enforcement, to include the Sheriff’s Office, Spokane Valley Police, the IRS or any other government agency will NEVER call and threaten you with arrest and demand you pay fines over the phone with prepaid credit cards or demand you provide personal banking information.  PLEASE help us inform everyone in our community about these scams.

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Information from March 16, 2017:

Scammers Continue to Prey Upon Victim’s Fear

Yesterday afternoon, a Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Deputy was contacted by an adult female at the Public Safety Building (PSB).  She explained she received a phone call from “Lt. Harris” who told her she had failed to respond to a summons sent by certified mail.  His fraudulent story continued as he told the victim she now had two warrants for her arrest (Failure to Appear for Jury Duty and Contempt of Court).

The scammer threatened her with arrest and she needed to purchase MoneyPak cards from Albertons to pay fines totaling $2,225.00.  The criminal’s story and threats heightened the victim’s fear when he told her that her car was being tracked and the only way she could avoid jail was to purchase the cards as instructed and not make contact with law enforcement. 

She was told to only use cash to purchase the MoneyPak cards and travel to the PSB but not enter and stay outside.  The scammer told her to read him the “insurance numbers” off the back of the cards prior to being contacted by law enforcement or entering the building.  After reading the numbers to the suspect, he told her to go inside the PSB and he would contact her. 

Once inside she learned there wasn’t a “Lt. Harris” and she had fallen victim to a predatory scam. 

The deputy contacted by the victim helped her as she tried to stop payment on the MoneyPak cards and submitted a claim to their website.  The victim called Albertsons and learned they could not stop payment on the cards.

These scammers are very persistent, threatening, and convincing to victims who have not heard about these scams and are terrified of being arrested. 

When we put these SCAM ADVISORIES out, a lot of people say they already “know” about these and/or dismiss the information or they believe everyone must know, but the truth is, there are a lot of people in our community who don’t know about these scams.  Maybe they missed the local news or aren’t on social media; for whatever reason they don’t know about it, they end up being terrified by these criminals and bilked out of hundreds or thousands of dollars.  If they can average one victim a week who unfortunately has not heard about the numerous scams, which seem to be continually active, these selfish predators can steal a lot of money over a year.

As a community, we can stop our family, friends and neighbors from being victimized by informing everyone we know, bring it up during meetings of groups, clubs or churches we belong to or by passing the information on to our email lists.

Businesses and employees who sell prepaid credit cards, MoneyPaks, GreenDot cards, etc. can take a minute to politely inquire of a customer making large cash purchases of these cards if they are aware of these scams. 

To be clear, law enforcement, to include the Sheriff’s Office, Spokane Valley Police, the IRS or any other government agency will NEVER call and threaten you with arrest and demand you pay fines over the phone with prepaid credit cards or demand you provide personal banking information.  PLEASE help us inform everyone in our community about these scams. 

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Information from February 10, 2017

New Scams Warnings, Same Old Story

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and Spokane Valley Police continue to ask for your help.  We continue receiving reports of scammers calling and sometimes victimizing our fellow citizens. 

What can you do?  Help us spread this information.  Make sure your neighbors, churches, groups, vulnerable adults and especially, your family and friends know about these scams.

Several times today, we have received calls at our front desk informing us of “Sergeant Davis” threatening people and trying to scam them out of the hard-earned money.  There isn’t a Sergeant Davis working for the Sheriff’s Office and we (law enforcement) will NEVER call and threaten you with arrest if you don’t pay us with a prepaid credit card (green dot or any other card) nor will we demand personal or banking information.

We have also received reports of “Deputy Marshal John Clark” making scam calls like this over the last few weeks.

PLEASE: Law Enforcement, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), any other government agency nor any reputable business or organization will call and demand you pay them with a prepaid credit card while threatening you.

Don’t fall prey to these scammers.  Continue to pass this information around to everyone you know and please, store employees and managers, watch out for your customers and inform them of potential scams.  

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 Press Release from November 2016

Scams Continue – Alert Everyone

Talk to Family, Friends, Neighbors and Vulnerable Adults


The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and Spokane Valley Police continue to ask for your help.  We continue to receive reports of these scammers calling and sometimes victimizing our fellow citizens. 

What can you do?  Help us spread this information.  Make sure your neighbors, churches, groups, vulnerable adults and especially, your family and friends know about these scams.

I know, I know, everyone is tired of hearing about these scams but that’s exactly what these criminals are hoping for. 

Below are two new examples from last week and both were generated from the same phone number, (509)237-5229.

In both instances, the caller claimed to be an employee of the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.  The caller stated the victim had a warrant for their arrest for failing to appear for jury duty.  

One of the potential victims began asking basic questions the caller could not or would not answer.  After the call ended without the victim falling prey to the scam, the victim called the number back which went to voicemail with a message stating the victim had reached the Sheriff’s Office….              

During the other incident, the victim unfortunately lost $450.  The scammer originally told the victim she needed to meet with him and write a statement explaining why she did not appear for jury duty.  The scammer also demanded the victim bring a green.moneypak (prepaid money card) card for $897.63 to pay the fine.  The victim explained she didn’t have that much money so the predatory scammer told her to send him $450 instead. 

The victim, not knowing this was a scam and being afraid she would be arrested, purchased a Green Dot prepaid card in the amount of $450.  The criminal convinced the victim to give him the card numbers and information because he wanted to help her settle the warrant over the phone and save her a long drive to meet with him in person.    

If you work in or are a manager of a store that sells prepaid cards, make sure your coworkers/employees know about these scams.  Actively work to inform your customers and possibly identify potential victims who are purchasing these cards for large amounts of money before they are victimized. 

Please help us get the information out about these scams.  Tell everyone you know.  Bring this up during church, meetings, group functions, your child’s sporting events, holiday gatherings and make sure the uninformed, the elderly and vulnerable adults know:

  • Law enforcement, the courts, government agencies or reputable businesses will NEVER threaten arrest and demand payments or personal banking information over the phone.
  • Resist the urge to act quickly.  Verify the information by calling the “agency” at phone numbers YOU looked up, not ones provided by the scammers.  In Spokane County, you can call Crime Check at 509-456-2233 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) to report this activity before taking action.
  • Contact family or friends.  Tell them about the call; verify information before taking any action.  

For more information and SCAM Alerts, please visit these websites:

Federal Trade Commission Scam Alerts: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts

FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3): https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx

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Press Release from October 2016:  

Scam Advisory

Informing Family & Friends Can Prevent this Crime

Please read this and don’t dismiss it as “Again?  I’ve heard about this a thousand times!”

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and Spokane Valley Police are asking for your help to prevent scams that continue to prey upon our family, friends, neighbors and our community.  How can you help?  Tell everyone you know about these scams instead of dismissing this as “Scam stuff again?”  That is exactly what these scammers are relying on: fear and people who haven’t heard about their criminal scams. 

Even if they bully one person a week and scam them out of a $1000, their predatory fraudulent acts net them $52,000 dollars a year.   Help us inform our family, friends, neighbors and acquaintances of their scams and stop them from swindling more people out of their hard-earned money while they sit on their couches, profiting from their illegal actions. 

If you own or work at a business that sells “prepaid cards” or conducts electronic money transfers, look out for your customers; post information about these scams and if possible mention scams to people who are purchasing large amounts of cards or wiring funds. 

The latest incident involved a woman who was called by a person claiming to be with law enforcement.  He told the victim she had warrants for her arrest for missing “Grand Jury Duty”.  He went on to threaten her with 30-45 days in jail if she didn’t pay the fines right then.  He instructed her to drive to RiteAid and purchase Green Dot Cards (3 for $500 and one for $475).  The scammer stayed on the phone with her while she followed his instructions and told her to give him the card numbers.  He told her she could drive downtown and they would “reimburse” her with a cashier’s check after she filed paperwork stating she didn’t receive her “notice” for jury duty.  Once the scammer received the card numbers, the phone call was dropped and the victim was scammed out of her hard-earned money.

These predatory criminals reply on victims being embarrassed and not telling others about being victimized.  They rely on others dismissing this information as “everyone already knows” or believing they would never fall for one of these scams so no one else will, but the fact is, people haven’t heard about these scams. These predators are very aggressive and convincing to unsuspecting victims who haven’t heard about them.  They prey on people’s fear of being arrested or punished by law enforcement, or the IRS, or their grandchild is sitting in jail somewhere or any other threatening story they can imagine. 

Please tell everyone you know about these scams and let them know these very simple tips.

  • Law enforcement, the courts, government agencies or reputable businesses will NEVER threaten arrest and demand payments or personal banking information over the phone.
  • Resist the urge to act quickly.  Verify the information by calling the “agency” at phone numbers YOU looked up, not ones provided by the scammers.  In Spokane County, you can call Crime Check at 509-456-2233 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) to report this activity before taking action.
  • Contact family or friends.  Tell them about the call; verify information before taking any action.  

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Scam Advisory

“Grandparents Scam” Still Active-Don’t be Fooled

 

Spokane County Sheriff’s Detectives received a report of an attempted “Grandparent Scam” and wanted to remind the public of this and other scams that have made their way through our area.  Please share this information with all your family and friends and help make sure they don’t become a victim of scammers. 

Variations of the “Grandparents Scam” have been active for several years.  In this recent incident, the potential victim received a call from a male claiming to be her grandson.  The male said he was in jail and the victim needed to contact the male’s attorney, Michael Prince at 240-235-9641.  The victim was told to send $1,993 to a Walmart in Buffalo, NY.  Thankfully, the victim realized this was a scam before making a wire transfer and did not lose her money.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has received reports of this scam, and others, for years.  They provided this information in April of 2014:

“TELEPHONE SCAM ALLEGING A RELATIVE IS IN A FINANCIAL OR LEGAL CRISIS

The Internet Crime Complaint Center continues to receive reports of telephone scams involving calls that claim their “relative” is in a legal or financial crisis. These complaints are sometimes referred to as the “Grandparent Scam.” Scammers use scenarios that include claims of a relative being arrested or in a car accident in another country. Scammers often pose as the relative, create a sense of urgency and make a desperate plea for money to victims. It is not unusual for scammers to beg victims not to tell other family members about the situation.

The scammers also impersonate third parties, such as an attorney, law enforcement officer, or some other type of official, such as a U.S. Embassy representative. Once potential victims appear to believe the caller’s story, they are provided instructions to wire money to an individual, often referred to as a bail bondsman, for their relative to be released.

Some complainants have reported the callers claimed to be from countries including, but not limited to: Canada, Mexico, Haiti, Guatemala, and Peru.

Callers often disguise themselves by using telephone numbers generated by free applications or by spoofing their numbers.

If you receive this type of call:

  • Resist the pressure to act quickly.
  • Verify the information before sending any money by attempting to contact your relative to determine whether or not the call is legitimate.
  • Never wire money based on a request made over the phone or in an e-mail, especially to an overseas location. Wiring money is like giving cash—once you send it, you cannot get it back.

Individuals who have fallen victim to this type of scam are encouraged to file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center, https://www.ic3.gov.”

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and Spokane Valley Police Department have provided several scam advisories over the past several years.  Below are several for this year alone.

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Previous Press Release from August 17, 2016:

Scam Advisory, Again

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and Spokane Valley Police want to warn our community again; law enforcement will NEVER threaten arrest and demand payments or personal banking information over the phone. DO NOT be fooled, DO NOT “give” your money to scammers!

The Sheriff’s Office and Spokane Valley Police continue to receive reports of scammers threatening citizens and demanding money. The “stories” the scammer use may vary but they all have a common theme. They demand money from the victim and if they don’t receive the money, the victim or someone the victim knows will be arrested or has already been arrested and won’t be released.

PLEASE, talk to all your family, friends and neighbors and make sure they know of these scams.

Law Enforcement, the courts, government agencies, IRS, or any business will not call and demand money and threaten you or someone you know with arrest. Law Enforcement will never call and demand you bond someone out of jail and demand money. Never call these scammers back and if you are concerned the “story” could be true, look up the phone number for the agency reportedly involved yourself or you can contact your local law enforcement agency yourself.

Unfortunately, one of our community members recently fell prey to one of these scams and lost $9,500. On August 16, 2016, a Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy met with an elderly female and her husband. She told the deputy she received a phone call from a person claiming to be her grandson. The male was crying and told her a friend of his had died and while driving to the funeral, he was pulled over for a defective tail light. During the traffic stop, the male claimed a large amount of drugs were found in the vehicle and he and his cousin were arrested.

The victim received another call a short time later by a male who identified himself as Officer Eric Donaldson (902-669-0142). The man told the victim he believed her grandson was innocent BUT she needed to post $9,500.00 to bail him out of jail and prevent the case from being forwarded to the drug department.

The scammer advised the victim he wouldn’t accept a check or charge card but informed her to go to the bank, withdraw cash and a courier would pick up the money. The scammer threatened the victim and told her not to tell anyone because her grandson was facing federal charges.

The victim did as instructed and later that day a male in an older gold pickup truck came to pick up the cash. The victim made a comment about the truck the male was driving and he told her it was a “collector’s truck”.

After the scammer left, the victim noticed the 902 area code of the phone number came back to Nova Scotia.

Soon after, the scammer continuing to pose as “Officer Donaldson” called her back. He claimed her son’s fingerprints were on the trunk of the vehicle where the “drugs” had been located and now needed an additional $9,500.00. During this time frame, she also received two calls from people claiming to work of the IRS who demanded money from her to settle tax problems.

The victim was able to make contact with her real grandson who lives on the East Coast and learned he was not in any legal trouble and the entire story was nothing but a scam. However, her grandson began checking his account and located a fraudulent plane ticket purchase and a payment to an insurance company he didn’t authorize.

This specific scam has been called the Grandparents Scam and has been around for several years.

Law Enforcement, the courts, government agencies, IRS, or any business will not call and demand money and threaten you or someone you know with arrest. Law Enforcement will never call and demand you bond someone out of jail and demand money.

DO NOT be fooled, DO NOT “give” your money to scammers!

Anyone wishing to report scams or would like additional information can visit the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx. Incident can also be report to Crime Check at 509-456-2233.

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Previous Press Release from June 21, 2016:

Victim Swindled for $40,000

Scammers Demanded ITunes Cards

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind everyone law enforcement nor any other government agency will NOT call and ask for any type of prepaid credit cards, ITunes cards, personal banking information or any other payment like this over the phone. These calls are scams. Please, if you happen to believe the story for some reason, contact your local law enforcement agency or the agency represented during the call by obtaining an independently verified phone number. DO NOT call the number provided during the call. You will only be calling the scammer back. Do not fall prey to these scammers; investigate and verify before you ever provide financial information to anyone you don’t know and trust.

On June 20, 2016, Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Ron Nye contacted a victim who had been scammed out of $40,000. The 86-year-old victim told Deputy Nye he received a phone call from a person who sounded like, and claimed to be, a family member who lives in British Columbia. The person called from (514)546-9393, which is a Montreal, Quebec phone number.

The scammer claimed he needed $40,000 to pay a bond to get out of jail and asked if the victim could help. The scammer told the victim he needed to purchase $40,000 in ITunes gift cards to pay the bond amount. The victim said the person sounded like his family member, so he went to different stores purchasing ITunes gift cards for the amount of $500 each.

The victim talked to a different person during another phone call claiming to be a police officer in Canada named Todd Wilson. The victim was told to read all the numbers off the back of the cards and the victim complied.

While Deputy Nye was talking to the victim, the scammers called back and told the victim “the judge” wouldn’t accept $40,000 and they now needed another $10,000. When Deputy Nye got on the phone and identified himself to the scammer, the line was quickly disconnected.

Deputy Nye contacted an Apple representative, explained the fraud and asked if Apple could assist the victim. The Apple representative said they would try to help and they had called the victim back prior to Deputy Nye leaving. Deputy Nye also emailed a copy of his report to the Apple Law Enforcement and Fraud Department.

This scam is very similar to the old “Grandparents Scam” where a person calls stating they’re a grandchild and are in jail. They convince the grandparent, who only wants to help, to pay for the bond to get them released.

The scammer’s stories change and adapt as information gets out to the public. Please investigate and independently verify everything before you provide financial information to anyone you don’t personally know and trust.

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Previous Press Release from June 10, 2016:

Scammers Continue to Demand Electronic

Voucher Payment to Avoid Arrest

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and Spokane Valley Police want to warn our community again; law enforcement will never threaten arrest and demand payments or personal banking information over the phone. DO NOT be fooled, DO NOT “give” your money to scammers!

Yesterday afternoon, Spokane County Crime Prevention Deputy David Morris received information from a citizen about this old, but continual, scam. In this instance, the scammer called from 509-212-3317 and stated his name was “Deputy Middlebrooks”, badge number 75816. During the call the scammer states the victim needs to get an “electronic voucher” from Fred Meyer to pay for warrants totaling $1,425. (Failure to appear for court, Contempt of Court and Avoidance of Civil Duty)

This is a scam. None of the information provided by the scammer is true and he even provided the incorrect address for the Sheriff’s Office. Do not call these scammers back and , do  not fall for their scandalous stories.

Don’t be fooled, don’t be their next victim.

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Previous Press Release from April 12, 2016:

Deputies Will NEVER Ask You to Pay Fines Over Phone

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office has once again received reports of a male claiming to work for the Sheriff’s Office who is demanding citizens pay fines immediately over the phone and threatens arrest if the potential victim does not follow his demands. Do NOT be fooled. This is a scam and neither the Sheriff’s Office nor any other law enforcement agency will demand you to go to a store to obtain a prepaid credit card or voucher to pay fines.

In this case, a male claiming to be “Deputy Walker” called from (509) 237-5534. The scammer had a southern accent and stated the victim had a warrant for failing to appear for jury duty and a second warrant for contempt of court. He demanded the victim go to Fred Meyer and get a money voucher in the amount of $989.00 to pay for the fines and avoid arrest.

The scammer was so brazen, he told the victim once a card was purchased, she needed to go to the credit/debit kiosk located inside the Public Safety Building (1100 W. Mallon). The scammer demanded a call back once she was at the kiosk and again threatened arrest if she didn’t follow his instructions.

Thankfully, in this case, the scammer did not claim another victim. The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind everyone law enforcement will NOT call and demand payment or personal information over the phone. These scammers continue to change their story but they all have the same theme: they want your hard-earned money or your identity by obtaining your personal information.

Don’t be fooled, don’t be their next victim.

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Previous Press Release from February 18, 2016:

Phone Scammers “Claim” to be Deputies

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a male claiming to work for the Sheriff’s Office as he threatened arrest and demanded money for warrants.

A call was placed to the scammer’s phone number, 509-237-2600, and a male answered and transferred the call to a male who identified himself as “Detective Mike Ellis”. When confronted the suspect transferred the call to another male who identified himself as “Lieutenant Gray”. The scammers continued to threaten arrest if the victim does not drive to Fred Meyer immediately and obtain a voucher for money owned due to a Failure to Appear or Contempt of Court warrant.

When a real Sheriff’s Lieutenant told the scammers he would meet them to pay them money, the scammers stated the warrants could not be paid in person and eventually hung-up.

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office does not employ a “Mike Ellis” or a “Lieutenant Gray”.

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and Spokane Valley Police Department would like to remind everyone law enforcement will NEVER call and request or demand fines to be paid over the phone.

Scammers continue to prey upon citizens because they eventually find someone who believes their story and becomes a victim. Scammers continue to conduct phone scams where they identify themselves as employees of the IRS, Social Security Administration, a law enforcement agency, a court employee or some other business or government agency.

DO NOT be fooled into becoming a victim. DO NOT provide bank account information, credit or prepaid credit card information or any other personal information over the phone.

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