Phone scams are nothing new, and the one that’s been hitting residents of the Santa Clarita Valley recently has been seen before, according to LASD officials. The scam involves a scammer calling a resident and informing them that  a warrant has been issued for their arrest for failing to appear for Jury Duty. The scammer then explains that, if the victim “pays a fine,” they can avoid being arrested. The victim is then instructed to purchase a money order, gift card (such as Green Dot), or conduct a wire transfer in the amount specified.

There are a number of red flags in this scam, beginning with the phone call. The police do not attempt to solicit money or collect fines over the phone. Ever. The second is with the warrant. When warrants are issued for someone’s arrest, the police are obligated by law to act upon it within a certain period of time. They don’t call you and let you know that there’s a warrant out for your arrest, either. The final red flag is with the method of payment required. When you owe a fine, the police aren’t going to suggest you purchase a gift card or money order or any other method to use to pay them.

If you ever receive a phone call from someone claiming to be a police officer and they’re asking you for something, especially money, odds are that person isn’t really a police officer. You can easily double-check by simply calling the police back and asking.

If you feel you’re being scammed by someone over the phone, call the Department of Consumer Affairs at 800-593-8222. If you’ve already sent money and feel you’ve been scammed over the phone, contact the Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Station. at 661-255-1121.