Washoe Sheriff's Office warns of "deputy" phone scam

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office is still receiving calls from the public about a phone scam in which the scammers pose as officials from the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office to fraudulently obtain money or information.

In the most recent reports, a man identifying himself as “Sergeant Larry Clark from the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office” tells people they are in some sort of arrears with the legal system, such as an outstanding warrant for failure to appear for jury duty. The caller then demands payment to clear the situation.

Typically with these types of scams, the sheriff's office says, the scammer provides instruction that the payment should be submitted through an “eGift” cash card, pre-paid credit 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 it had to catch them.

Although the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office will sometimes make calls to inform someone about a warrant, it won't ask for payment over the phone or negotiate for payment in lieu of arrest. Anyone with questions about a warrant is advised to call the courts or local law enforcement.

Anyone who has suffered a loss as a result of this scam is encouraged to contact the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office at (775) 328-3001 (option 7), file a report online at WashoeSheriff.com, or call another local law enforcement agency.

Other recent reports indicated the public was hearing from a male identifying himself as a “Detective Phillips from the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office.” There is no Detective Phillips with WCSO.

In one instance, the caller was described as becoming aggressive and angry when information was refused.