Sheriff's Office

PR #:
2021-57
Date Issued:
Apr 09, 2021 - 7:41AM

For Immediate Release

Phone scammers continue to use fake Washoe County Sheriff's Office identification to try and make a victim out of you

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

Scammers are once again using the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office to try and bilk residents out of money due to fictitious warrants.

However, scammers’ new modus operandi directs victims to drive to the Sheriff’s Office, which may lead victims to believe the ruse.

A potential victim received a voicemail earlier this week from a scammer claiming to be “Lieutenant Scott Iacoboni with the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office” who was contacting the man due to “a federal summons as a result of missing jury duty.”

The phony lieutenant then asked the man to contact him at (775) 391-5148.

The potential victim called that number – and the fake lieutenant told him that the jury duty summons had been signed upon delivery. The suspect then directed the victim to drive to the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office. The victim was told to put nearly $1,000 into a lobby kiosk and sign an affidavit on the screen. If that signature “did not match the signature on the summons” then the victim would receive a refund via certified check. If the victim did not, or could not, settle the fine immediately a warrant would be issued for his arrest.

Upon arriving at the Sheriff’s Office, the victim asked to speak with Lieutenant Iacoboni, and the real lieutenant was able to confirm the deceit.

What is unusual about this hoax is the inclusion of the kiosk. The kiosks are used solely to provide funds to inmates of the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Detention Facility. Since the victim did not actually deposit money in the kiosk, no inmate benefitted from this particular incident.

This new technique may be an indicator of increased public awareness of prior warrant scams where payment was requested through “eGift” cash cards, pre-paid credit cards, or similar payment to a specified account or name given by the caller.

Although the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office will sometimes make calls to inform someone about a warrant, the Office will not ask for payment over the phone or negotiate for payment in lieu of arrest. Anyone with questions about a warrant may call the courts and local law enforcement agencies.

These scammers can be difficult to locate because they often use internet-based call platforms or pre-paid phones.

The public can help prevent these crimes by helping to make as many people aware of their existence as possible. Please help spread the word.

Anyone who has suffered a loss as a result of a scam is encouraged to contact the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Detectives Division at (775) 328-3320. Additionally, if you have received a call from anyone identifying themselves as an employee of the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office and you wish to verify the identity of the caller please call (775) 328-3002.

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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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