For Immediate Release
This press release includes audio
PR #:1400072
Date Issued:Jul 18, 2014 - 2:56pm

Washoe County Sheriff's Office warns residents that phone scams impersonating local law enforcement are continuing

CONTACT:Bob Harmon
Washoe County Sheriff's Office
Office 775-785-6235
Cell 775-771-8252

The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office wants area residents to be aware that the Sheriff's Office continues to receive calls about a local phone scam in which the scammers pose as Sheriff’s Office personnel to fraudulently obtain money from innocent victims. 

The scammer tells the person there is a warrant out for their arrest for a certain amount of fine. The reason for the warrant is represented as being anything from a traffic violation to failure to pay full income tax requirements to the Internal Revenue Service.

The scammer then tells the potential victim that their options are either to surrender themselves to the Sheriff’s Office for arrest, or that they may pay a “reduced” payment of the fine to adjudicate the warrant. 

The scammer provides instruction on how the payment should be submitted, usually through an “eGift” cash card or similar payment to a specified account or name given by the caller. These scam artists use pre-paid phones and many times are not even in the jurisdiction where the crime occurred, making their apprehension difficult.

Although the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office will sometimes make calls to inform someone about a warrant, the Sheriff's Office will never ask for payment over the phone or offer to negotiate for reduced payment in lieu of arrest. Anyone with questions about a warrant may call the courts or local law enforcement. 

Anyone who has been a victim of this scam, or who receives such a call, is encouraged to take down as much information as possible, such as a name and call back number, without giving any information away. Then, immediately contact the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office at (775) 785-WCSO (9276).


The Washoe County Sheriff's Office celebrated 150 years of proud service and community partnership in 2011. Sheriff Michael Haley is the 25th person elected to serve as the Sheriff of Washoe County. His office continues to be the only full service public safety agency operating within northern Nevada and is responsible for operating the consolidated detention facility, regional crime lab, Northern Nevada Regional Intelligence Center, Internet Crimes against Children Task Force, court security, service of civil process and traditional street patrols.

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