Cook County Sheriff Doug Hanks is warning the public of recent scam calls reported to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office.
These current scams are commonly referred to as “fake warrant or fake bail” scams and usually involve the caller explaining to the victim that they have a “bench warrant” at the Sheriff’s Office and to avoid incarceration they need to “pay the fine” for the warrant or the bail. The scammer then explains to the victim the process of paying the fine which usually involves sending money to a “cash app” or similar digital currency method or through the purchase of pre-paid credit cards which the information on the cards used to process the payment is then relayed back to the caller. The scammers often threaten the victim with “arrest” or higher fines if they do not complete the action. In the past these types of scams were more closely related to calls from the “IRS” but as these scams have become more knowledgeable to the public it seems scammers have started using local law enforcement agencies. Several of the victims have even reported the number they were contacted by was from the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. This can be performed using number spoofing software or applications which are common in these types of scams.
Sheriff Hanks wishes to inform the public that law enforcement, especially the Sheriff’s Office, does not contact anyone over the phone regarding warrants or solicit money over the phone to resolve them. Citizens are encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office or their local law enforcement agency if they receive calls of this type or any suspicious calls that purport to be from a law enforcement agency.