Sheriff reports scam calls

Caller impersonating fictitious officer

The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department is warning residents about an ongoing scam in Ramsey County.

The sheriff’s office has received over a dozen reports of county residents getting calls from a scam artist.

The man tells residents they failed to serve their required time on jury duty. He goes on to tell them a warrant will be issued for their arrest unless they pay a specific dollar amount, often hundreds of dollars.

They’re asked to pay the sum via pre-paid cards.

The caller often uses the name Lt. John Roberts.

“We don’t have anybody by that name,” said Randy Gustafson, spokesperson for the sheriff’s department.

Luckily, those who’ve called in thus far have not been duped.

“So far those that have talked to us have not fallen victim to the scams,” said Gustafson.

Rather, “they have called us to double-check that it was for real” before making any payment.

The sheriff’s office encourages anyone who has contact with this individual to collect as much information as possible, including any telephone numbers or addresses the individual provides, and to call the Special Investigations Unit of the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department at 651-266-9383.

Gustafson noted that people are often embarrassed when they fall victim to scams, and so the scams can be under-reported.

Gustafson emphasized that the county sheriff’s office would never approach a resident for money in the way it’s done by the scammer.

“We don’t call up people and say ‘Hey you can get out of this warrant if you send us some money,’” he said.

-- Patrick Larkin


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