BEND, Ore. - The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office issued a public alert Friday after it began receiving reports of two scams that are targeting citizens, trying to seek payment for fictitious fees.
One scam involves a male portraying himself as a member of the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office and making a claim that a person has a warrant out for their arrest for missing jury duty, said Lt. Chad Davis.
The caller then advises the potential victim to purchase a pre-paid debit card and provide them with the numbers on the card in order to pay the bail on the warrant and avoid going to jail.
Unfortunately, some citizens have followed through with the caller's instructions and lost significant amounts of money by falling victim to this scam.
The other scam involves a person portraying themselves as Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel. The suspect is contacting citizens and advises the citizen they need to pay fictitious fees in order to avoid going to jail. In one instance, the suspect said the citizen needed to pay a fee in regards to "Oregon's Bad Check Diversion Program."
"The Sheriff's Office wants the public to know these are scams, and they should never send someone money without verifying the information they are being provided first," Davis said in a news release.
"It is not common practice for the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office to advise a citizen they have a warrant over the phone. In most cases, a citizen with a warrant will be contacted in person, and the deputy will have proper credentials when serving the warrant," he added.
In addition, correspondence from the Deschutes County District Attorney's Office would come through the U.S. Mail and not over the phone, he said, adding that while the jury duty scam has been around off and on for some time, "the DA (scam) is a new one for us."
These scams are currently being investigated by the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office. Anyone receiving phone calls similar to these in nature are asked to contact the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office at 541-693-6911 to report it.