Ada County Sheriff’s Office deputies will never call and threaten to arrest you because you have an outstanding civil judgment — or missed jury duty — or have a federal arrest warrant — or anything like that.
Deputies will also never ask you to place funds for payment on a pre-paid credit card to “cancel the arrest warrant” for the fake civil judgment, or having a phony federal arrest warrant, or some other made-up charge.
It appears this vexing scam has reemerged in Ada County over the last few months.
We’ve had numerous reports of scammers pretending to be ACSO deputies, who use phone numbers with a 208 area code to sell the ruse.
The most prevalent version of the scam is usually about missing jury duty, but there have been versions where the scammers ask for money to take care of fake arrest warrants, civil judgments, or fines.
They usually tell their victims to go to a store, get a pre-paid credit card (like a Green Dot), load it up with money, and then call a phone number with the card information.
In reality, if one of our deputies had to file a civil judgment or issue an arrest arrant, they would try to find you in person and leave cards with call-back numbers on them several times before calling – and that would be to set up a meet.
They will never ask you to wire or transfer money electronically. That is a sure sign of the scam.
The scammers get the numbers and make the calls over the internet with burner cell phones, making them very hard to trace.
The Better Business Bureau is aware of the scam and says people can protect themselves from becoming victims of identify theft by never giving out any personal information when getting an unsolicited phone call.
Giving out sensitive information over the phone — both personal and financial — can put you at risk for fraud.
If you have received one of these scam phone calls, contact the Ada County Sheriff’s Office at (208) 377-6790 or the Better Business Bureau for more info.