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NEW SCAM IDENTIFIED IN DOÑA ANA COUNTY

Individuals in several states have reported receiving phone calls or emails informing them that there is a warrant for their arrest. A resident of Doña Ana County reported receiving a similar phone call. This communication is often part of a larger scheme to steal money, based on this deception.

As part of this scam, a person usually receives a phone call from someone posing as a law enforcement officer. The caller usually states that there is a warrant for the recipient’s arrest.

As technology advances, so do the scammers’ capabilities to manipulate caller ID data to show that the call is coming from a local law enforcement agency such as the Doña Ana Sheriff’s Office (DASO). Often, the caller claims that the arrest warrant is due to not paying a debt, missing jury duty, or committing some other minor offense.

The caller says that a fine is due and that if it is not paid in full that the warrant will be executed. Typically, the recipient of the call will be asked to wire money or in this local occurrence, purchase a packet of gift cards.

We encourage residents to be on guard for variations of this warrant scam. There are several red flags that can alert individuals to a potential scam of this nature. Police usually do not call individuals to inform them that they have a warrant for their arrest. Instead, the police will likely show up in person to arrest a suspect. If the debt is a valid one, the recipient will usually receive a certified letter stating that a specific legal action is being taken.

No law enforcement agency will accept gift cards as payment.  Another potential warning sign that individuals are being scammed is the demand for payment on a debt that they do not recognize, refusing to provide the company name for the debt that is alleged to be owed, refusing to provide contact information, or refusing to provide the notice in writing.

Report telephone scams online to the Federal Trade Commission. You can also call 1-877-382-4357 (TTY: 1-866-653-4261). The FTC is the primary government agency that collects scam complaints.

For more information about Doña Ana County, please visit www.donaanacounty.org.

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