McHenry County residents targeted in phone scam using name of real deputy, sheriff’s office warns

McHenry County Sheriff’s Office does not take bond payments via phone, never in form of a gift card

The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office warned Friday of a phone scam targeting county residents after the office received four calls about incidents Friday morning.

The scam involves a caller identifying themselves as one of the county’s sheriff’s deputies, using the real name of a currently employed deputy and advising the resident there is a warrant for their arrest, Sgt. Aimee Knop said in an email. The caller tells the resident to buy gift cards, scratch them off and provide the numbers on the back to avoid going to jail.

The sheriff’s office has taken a report from one victim and encourages residents to call and report if they become the victim of this or any other scam, Knop said.

The sheriff’s office issued a warning on its social media platforms advising residents that “criminals may try to pressure you, scare or intimidate you, telling you that the sheriff’s office will come and arrest you if you do not provide gift card numbers to them immediately.”

But residents should “pause and think,” the office said in its post. “If you have not committed a criminal act, why would there be a reason for a warrant for your arrest?”

Residents can call the sheriff’s office at 815-338-2144 to verify whether there is a warrant for their arrest, according to the post.

The sheriff’s office also does not take bond over the phone, and it is never taken in the form of a gift card.