Scammers continue to call Utah County residents in an attempt to convince them they have a warrant they must pay or go to jail. What do they say? And what is the REAL procedure? We tell you here!
Investigators with the Utah County Sheriff's Office have received calls recently from citizens who were contacted by someone representing themselves as an employee of the Utah County Sheriff's Office. The caller will even use the name of an actual employee of the UCSO. They will say there is a warrant for your arrest and will tell you a bail amount. Often the name they use may be recognizable, adding credibility to their statement. Additionally, the bail amount does not seem outlandish, perhaps in the neighborhood of $300-$500.
After giving their introduction the caller will tell you they can help you clear the warrant. All they need you to do is give them a debit card number. Or they might tell you to go to a local business, often a store like Walmart, and buy a "Green Dot" card, or some other cash card. The caller will instruct you to call them back with the card information so they can clear the warrant.
Let me be perfectly clear: THIS IS A SCAM!!! The Utah County Sheriff's Office will NEVER call you and ask you for personal financial information in an effort to collect bail on a warrant, or for any other court related financial obligation or fine.
Here is what we will do. We do have employees who will call you to advise you of a warrant. They will tell you the bail amount and will tell you to contact the Utah County Justice Court to make arrangements to get it cleared or to pay the bail. A person with a warrant can go to the court in person to pay a fine. They could also call Utah Valley Dispatch and ask them to have a Deputy contact them to collect bail. The Utah County Justice Court website also lists payment options. That website is: www.utahcounty.gov/Dept/JustCrt/PaymentOptions.html Other courts will have similar procedures of their own.
When a person has given this kind of information to a scammer it is very difficult to investigate these cases. The callers are often out of state and are operating out of temporary offices that will frequently close down or move to a different location to avoid detection. Never be afraid to question them or "hurt their feelings". Any legitimate official from the Utah County Sheriff's Office will understand this and will allow you to look up the UCSO, or Utah County Justice Court, contact information on your own. Also, please report these scam efforts to your local law enforcement agency.
For questions contact Sergeant Spencer Cannon, Public Information Officer, Utah County Sheriff's Office. (801)404-1912. Twitter: SGTCannonPIO