San Francisco Bay Area

Santa Cruz County Deputies Warn Public of Phone Scam

Authorities in Santa Cruz County are warning the public about a phone scam circulating in their county. According to Santa Cruz County sheriff’s officials, victims are receiving phone calls at home from suspects posing as officers from the county sheriff’s office.

The suspects tell victims they must pay a fine to avoid an arrest warrant for missing jury duty. Victims are advised to purchase gift cards for as much as $1,000 and transfer the value of the cards electronically to the suspect, sheriff’s officials said. Victims are told they will receive a partial refund once the warrant is cleared up.

Suspects also provide a fraudulent phone number and sometimes transfer victims to another suspect who poses as a captain or commander, sheriff’s officials said. Sheriff’s officials are warning the public not to give out personal information over the phone.

Residents will never be asked to provide money, gift cards or resolve financial obligations by telephone, sheriff’s officials said.

Anyone who may have suffered a financial loss as a result of this scam can report it by calling the Santa Cruz County sheriff’s dispatch at (831) 471-1121 or submit a report online at and reference case 17-08155.

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