Over the previous week, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) has received multiple calls and emails from community members about a scam making its way through Lincoln County.
The call usually starts with the scammer identifying themselves as a member of this or another local police agency. They generally pick a rank that sounds authoritative, such as “Captain” or “Lieutenant”, but is not as easily as identified as “Sheriff” or “Chief," according to a release from the LCSO.
How the scam works
The scammer combines the rank with the name of an actual law enforcement officer from a previous media release or social media post so it might be recognized.
After establishing their fictitious identity, the scammer will tell the target of the scam that they have a warrant for their arrest for something that appears to be an oversight: missing a subpoena, jury duty, or non-payment of fines. The scammer then tells the target of the scam that they will be arrested if they don’t pay money to them via wire transfer, online payment service, or pre-paid cards.
The LCSO cautions that scammers are creative and resourceful. They will try to convince you they are with a legitimate agency.
"They will try to convince you they are with a legitimate agency," the release states. "They will sometimes create a fake, professional-looking profile or a website that looks very similar to the organization’s actual page. "Scammers may try to use your emotions against you, such as pretending to be a family member in jail or threaten legal consequences if you do not pay immediately"
When in doubt, the LCSO urge you to hang up without providing personal or payment information and contact the organization to verify the request is really coming from their office.
How do I know if information is really from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office or not?
It comes directly from the official Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office account, NOT a third party or a comment from another Facebook user.
It comes from one of our other accounts: Lincoln County Animal Shelter or Lincoln County Oregon Emergency Management
It is on the agency's official website: www.co.lincoln.or.us/sheriff (bookmark this website for reference later)
The Lincoln County Sheriff's staff can verify the information is true. Anyone with concerns about this scam, or if you have questions about a service, or need to connect someone in the LCSO, call 541-265-4277. Save this number for reference later.