The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department issued a Nixle Wednesday morning regarding threat-based impersonation scams.
According to the Nixle, scammers impersonated deputies from the LASD and demanded payment for fines such as an outstanding warrant or failing to be present for jury service.
The scammers aggressively demanded money in the forms of prepaid credit cards, gift cards, and even bitcoin, and often targeted the elderly.
The LASD reiterates that although the scammers used the names of real LASD personnel, this practice is not protocol. According to the Nixle, the “Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department personnel will NEVER ask for payment over the phone or by email.”
To prevent scams in the future, the LASD urges residents to be mindful of common strategies and tactics associated with the scammers:
- Scammers pretend to be associated with official government or law enforcement agencies.
- Scammers threaten victims with legal issues, such as arrests or warrants.
- Scammers instruct victims to read back gift card numbers.
- Once the scammers have received the information needed, the line is disconnected.
Preventative measures residents should take include verifying the identity of the scammers through an independent source, such as a phone book or online search. Other practices include hanging up and verifying a call if it sounds suspicious.
While it is important that one does not share personal information, such as credit cards and social security numbers, with people one does not know, it is also important to note that a government agency will not ask for money in unconventional methods, such as Bitcoin.
For more information visit the LASD website: http://www.lasd.org.
If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), or use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP or “P3 Mobile” for the hearing impaired on Google play or the App Store, or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.