Scam Alert: Milwaukee sheriffs alerting public to renewed phone scam

Cell phone

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department is alerting the public to a renewed phone scam.

According to the sheriff’s office, four reports were received on Thursday, June 28 from people who received phone calls using a sheriff’s captain’s name and threatening arrest for failure to pay fines associated with missing jury duty.

Sheriff Richard Schmidt said, “the Sheriff’s Office DOES NOT call citizens threatening arrest for failure to pay fines. If you receive a similar call, hang up. If you fall victim to the scam and suffer monetary losses, report the call by email or by phone to 414-278-4705.”

Variations of the scam include the caller advising the victim they’ll be arrested unless they provide pre-paid credit cards or gift cards to the caller. After giving the codes on the cards, the scammer transfers the money to their own untraceable accounts.

The phone numbers scammers use mirror actual Sheriff’s Office numbers, a concept referred to as “spoofing.” Spoofing occurs when a caller deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to your caller ID display to disguise their identity. Spoofing is often used as part of an attempt to trick someone into giving away valuable personal information so it can be used in fraudulent activity or sold illegally.