KENOSHA CO. (WITI) -- The Kenosha County Sheriff's Department says a phone scam in the area has been going on since at least July, and they are warning residents not to fall for it.
Residents in Waukesha, Caledonia and Kenosha have recently received bogus calls from suspects claiming to be with the Sheriff's Department. The suspects have gotten the Sheriff's Department phone number to show up on caller ID.
"Definitely we don't want people to fall for this scam or any other," said Sergeant Bill Beth of the Kenosha County Sheriff's Department.
Sgt. Beth described one incident in which a woman received several calls showing the Sheriff Department's main number on her caller ID. When she answered, a man identified himself as Lieutenant Moore.
The man claimed the woman owed money and that if she didn't pay, there would be consequences involving the police. When the woman asked for the caller's badge number, the phone disconnected.
Authorities were immediately contacted and they identified several red flags.
"We don't have a Lt. Moore here at the Sheriff's Department," said Sgt. Beth. "When we call, our phone number comes up as restricted, so it doesn't even identify the Sheriff's Department on a caller ID."
Detectives with the Sheriff's Department say they believe the calls are originating out of New York state.
"My wife didn't even give her the chance to ask her for money or have her say that. My wife just laid into her because it was so preposterous," said Ned Azarian of Caledonia, who was also targeted. "The phone call came from Amy Brown and Amy said 'is Mr. Azarian there?' My wife said 'yes.' She said 'the Racine Police Department has a warrant for his arrest and he must report immediately to Racine Police,' for my altercation with Officer Brown."
The Azarain's called police immediately, who verified the scam. They want to spread the word so no one, especially the elderly, falls for it.
Sgt. Beth notes that the Sheriff's Department never calls people to ask for any type of payment and generally, a notice will be mailed. You can also contact the records counter to find out if you have anything outstanding.