Sheriff's Office

PR #:
Date Issued:
Sep 28, 2021 - 3:10PM

For Immediate Release

Phone scammers continue to use fraudulent Washoe County Sheriff’s Office identification intending to make you a victim

Sarah Johns
Washoe County Sheriff's Office
Office: 775-785-6235
Cell: 775-391-0407

Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam is issuing a warning to community members about a telephone scam where the con artist claims to be from the Sheriff’s Office and is demanding the potential victim pay “unpaid tickets” immediately.

“We are thankful a potential victim called the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office which alerted us to this particular scam,” said Sheriff Balaam. “There are many current scams where would-be crooks are pretending to be employees of the Sheriff’s Office in an attempt to steal a victim’s hard-earned money.

“The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office won’t call you for unpaid tickets. Likewise, we won’t call you for an outstanding warrant,” Balaam continued. “Oftentimes, phone scammers will ask you to settle your purported issue by purchasing a gift card and providing the P.I.N. information over the phone. If you receive a phone call like this I encourage you to immediately get off the phone and contact the Sheriff’s Office.

“Personal and financial information should never be given out over the phone unless you are one hundred percent sure of the caller’s credibility,” Sheriff Balaam said. “It’s important for people to understand that if they are uncomfortable with a phone call, they can and should hang up without providing any information to the caller.”

Because public awareness is one of the keys to prevention, Sheriff’s Balaam reminds residents to stay alert for telephone scams and to talk with friends and family about the current rash of scams.

“No matter how aggressive a caller may be, get off the phone and verify their credibility independently,” Sheriff Darin Balaam said. “Your safety, and the safety of your personal information, come first.”

Anyone who has been a victim of this scam, or who receives such a call, is encouraged to take down as much information as possible, such as a name and call back number, without giving any information away. Then, immediately contact the appropriate law enforcement agency.


The Washoe County Sheriff's Office is dedicated to preserving a safe and secure community with professionalism, respect, integrity and the highest commitment to equality. Sheriff Darin Balaam is the 27th person elected to serve as the Sheriff of Washoe County since the Office was created in 1861. The Washoe County Sheriff's Office strives to ensure public safety by building trust and creating partnerships within the diverse communities in which we serve. We will promote the dignity of all people supported by our words and actions through open communication while fostering an environment of professionalism, integrity and mutual respect.


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