Verde Valley AZ (January 11, 2017) – UPDATE – Over the past few days, YCSO has received numerous complaints from persons reporting they had been called by a man claiming he was with the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office and demanding payment on a warrant for failure to appear for jury duty. Fortunately, most of the victims were aware of media reports regarding the scam and simply hung up on the suspects. But yesterday, January 9, 2017, a Prescott resident lost $785 in the scam. Note – the phone number reported is common to all our recent calls – 928-215-68XX – (detectives are working to track the number’s origin).
The Prescott victim told deputies that she received a call on her cell phone from a “Frank Davenport” around 10:30 that morning who claimed he was with the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office. The victim was travelling south on I17 at the time. The suspect told her there was a failure to appear and a contempt of court warrant out for her arrest because she did not show up for federal jury duty. The suspect transferred her to a “Mr. Rhodes” and he stayed on the phone with her until she reached a bank in Sun City, AZ. As directed by the suspect, she withdrew $785 from her account then purchased 2 Pay Pal prepaid credit cards at a local convenience store. After sharing the account numbers with the suspect, he told her to take the cards with the receipt, a phone bill with her address on it, and her odometer reading to YCSO on Tuesday by 1030 to have the warrant cleared up. By the time she realized she had been scammed, the money was removed from both credit cards.
NEITHER THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE OR ANY COURT OFFICER WILL EVER DEMAND PAYMENT ON A WARRANT BY PHONE WHILE DEMANDING THE USE OF PRE PAID DEBIT CARDS. Always verify such demands by calling back on a published number for the agency involved.
Verde Valley AZ (December 9, 2016) – UPDATE – Last night, a 60-year-old Prescott woman came to the Sheriff’s Office to follow-up on phone calls she had been receiving from a ‘Captain Mark Boan’ from the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office demanding payment on a warrant for failure to serve jury duty. The calls started on December 7th and the victim had already paid $2000 via pre-paid Visa cards in an attempt to satisfy the bogus fine on the bogus warrant. She had come to the Sheriff’s Office to make sure the warrant issue was settled and learned she had been scammed. Unfortunately, she was not aware of the recent media campaign by YCSO that addressed these fraud calls.
The suspect called from 928- 210-XXXX. There is also a voice mail connected to this number similar to the one attached to the original media release. Detectives are investigating.
YCSO is asking the public to share this information with family and friends who may not be following media reports. We would like to stop this scam in its tracks.
Please note that on occasion the scammers may use the name of actual employees working for YCSO as was the case for ‘Dave Williams,’ who is a Lt. with YCSO. Don’t let this fool you – again, always verify such demands by calling back on a published number for the agency involved.
NEITHER THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE OR ANY COURT OFFICER WILL EVER DEMAND PAYMENT ON A WARRANT BY PHONE WHILE DEMANDING THE USE OF PRE PAID DEBIT CARDS.
Verde Valley AZ (December 9, 2016) – Yesterday afternoon, YCSO was contacted by a scam victim who reported receiving a call from a male suspect identifying himself as “Lt. Dave Williams” from the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office. He told her she had a warrant for failing to appear regarding jury duty and was able to confirm the victim’s correct social security number, date of birth and home address. The victim also noted the suspect had called her cell phone. The quality of the information provided by the suspect made the exchange more believable to the victim thus heightening concern she was in trouble.
The suspect provided a bogus court case number, his contact phone number with a 928 area code, and instructed the victim to appear in person at the Cottonwood Municipal Court at 6:30PM. Of course, the court would have been closed. Suspicious about the call, she told the suspect she would be calling the Sheriff’s Office directly to verify and he hung up. Detectives believe, based on similar past reports, that the suspect would expect a follow-up call from the victim after finding the court closed and then direct her to pay a fine via green dot/gift card/money order to quash the warrant.
Detectives called the suspect’s number and received a voice mail message which was recorded and is included as part of this media release. Detectives are investigating the source of this number.
These scammers often are able to obtain complete personnel data on individuals from hackers who routinely sell such information via underground websites. If in doubt, verify any claim by contacting the court/sheriff’s office/police department using published phone numbers. Also note that scam suspects also have the ability to spoof phone numbers which will appear on caller ID screens as authentic to the government agency. This can make any initial scam call seem genuine.
REMEMBER, LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES and COURT OFFICIALS WILL NEVER CALL TO SOLICIT PAYMENT ON A WARRANT IN THIS MANNER.
NAMES USED BY SUSPECTS IN THESE CALLS MAY OR MAY NOT REPRESENT A TRUE PERSON- EITHER WAY THESE CALLS ARE ALWAYS FRAUDULENT!
Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov