For Immediate Release
This press release includes audio
PR #:1900046
Date Issued:May 02, 2019 - 4:15pm

Phone scammers continue to try new tricks – now they're using a fake Washoe County Sheriff's Office phone tree

CONTACT:Bob Harmon
Washoe County Sheriff's Office
Office 775-785-6235
Cell 775-722-5517

Scammers continue to try and find new ways to trick Washoe County residents into sending them money for fictitious warrants.

The Sheriff’s Office is now receiving calls from the public concerned about a new phone scam in which scammers posing as law enforcement officials leave a message with a contact name and a callback number. That callback number includes a very detailed phone tree that sounds like it could legitimately be the Sheriff’s Office. The phone tree includes the contact name left in the scammer’s message.

The scammer then claims that a person has an outstanding warrant and then demands payment to adjudicate the situation. The scammer provides additional instructions as to how payment should be made, usually through an “eGift” cash card, pre-paid credit card, 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 pre-paid phones and are not working within the jurisdiction where the crime occurred.

The public can help prevent these crime by helping to make as many people aware of their existence as possible.

To assist with spreading awareness, the Sheriff’s Office is attaching an audio recording of the latest phone tree scam with this press release.

Anyone who has suffered a loss as a result of this scam is encouraged to contact the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office at (775) 328-3001 (option 7), file a report online at WashoeSheriff.com, or their local 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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