Police: Scam callers pretend to be local government officials

Fraudsters tell those they call that they need to buy ‘voucher’ to avoid arrest

WAUKEGAN – The Lake County Sheriff’s Office and 19th Judicial Circuit have become aware of a scam targeting Lake County residents.

The scam involves con artists calling Lake County residents and introducing themselves as a member of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, according to a news release.

The scammers use the name of an actual sheriff’s office employee. The scammer informs the victim they missed a jury summons and an arrest warrant, a citation or citations have been issued to the victim. The scammer attempts to instruct the victim how to buy a “voucher” to avoid arrest.

Neither the sheriff’s office nor the 19th Judicial Circuit will ever call a resident to request money. Lake County government officials will not ask for or accept payment in the forms of gift cards, “Green Dot” cards, Venmo or cryptocurrency.

Most of the times the scammers are operating out of other states or countries. The best course of action is to hang up and if using a cellphone block the caller’s telephone number from being able to contact you again. You also may file a report with your local law-enforcement agency. If you are ever doubtful of a government official contacting you by phone, you may always hang up and call back using the known telephone number for the government office that contacted you.

Remember, if you did not initiate the telephone conversation:

1. Do not provide any personal information.

2. Do not tell anyone when you leave your residence.

3. Document the number calling along with any information about the call.

4. Report the incident to your local law enforcement agency as soon as possible.