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Old Scam Using New Funding Source

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Sonora, CA – The scam is not new, but the thieves are now turning to Bitcoin for their ill-gotten gains.

Tuolumne Sheriff’s officials have issued a warning to the public about a recent increase in the old warrant scam. It is when a caller impersonates a law enforcement official, in this case, a detective, and tells them they have warrants for their arrest. This scam differs in that the thieves ask the victim to pay in Bitcoin vouchers or gift cards.

Sheriff’s spokesperson Ashley Boujikian advised that they will never ask anyone to pay a fee for a warrant. She added that if you are suspicious of a caller, hang up and call the TCSO non-emergency line at 209-533-5815.

Boujikian also noted that the elderly are often the targets of scammers. She recommends, “If you have an elder in your life that does not use social media, please take the time to spread the word to them about scams and common scam tactics.”

The sheriff’s office also offered these two common red flags regarding scams:

  • The suspect asking for Bitcoin, gift cards, vouchers, or any other kind of immediate transfer of money.
  • High-pressure tactics: the suspect makes the issue feel like it needs to be resolved ASAP or else, and keeps in continuous contact with the victim.