Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office warns of telephone scam

Staff report

The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office and other law-enforcement agencies in the Roaring Fork Valley issued a warning on Wednesday about a telephone scam.

The phone scam involves people receiving a phone call from a person saying that they are a Pitkin County sheriff’s deputy, the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

The caller goes on to tell the person on the other line that there is a warrant for his or her arrest. The reason for the arrest warrant, according to the bogus caller, varies from unpaid traffic tickets to failing to show up for jury duty. Other reasons also are given. The caller goes on to say that the “fine” can be taken care of over the phone with a credit or debit card, the Sheriff’s Office said.

In some cases, the caller instructs the person to purchase a “Green Dot” card from various outlets or online and then give the caller the authorization number for the card over the phone. A “Green Dot” card is a pre-paid card much like a credit card, the statement said.

In all cases, the caller is trying to steal money from the person contacted by phone.

“The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office never calls people and asks the person to pay a fine over the phone,” the statement said.

All of the calls are scams and should be reported to local law enforcement, the Sheriff’s Office said.

“The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office reminds everyone to never give out personal information such as credit or debit card information, bank account information or birth dates and social-security card numbers over the phone and to be cautious of suspicious emails requesting such information,” the statement said.