YORBA LINDA (CBSLA.com) — The Orange County Sheriff’s Department Tuesday was advising the public to be aware of phone scams involving callers claiming to be law enforcement personnel.

A suspect called 69-year-old Lorraine Johnson, of Yorba Linda, on Oct. 29 and fraudulently identified himself as Lt. Mike Stevens with the Orange County Warrant Division. He then told her that an arrest warrant had been issued for her failure to appear in court on a traffic citation.

He said she could purchase a “MoneyPak” card for her bail amount, which was $365, and provide him with the card number so he could help pay her bail.

In a similar case, a Laguna Hills man was called on his cell phone and told he owed back taxes to the IRS. The caller fraudulently identified himself as Asst. Sheriff Mark Billings with the OC Sheriff’s Department and stated that he was working with the IRS to collect the debt. The suspect told the caller to purchase $4,000 in “MoneyPak” cards, and if he didn’t provide him with the numbers, a SWAT team would be forced to raid his home and arrest him.

The OC Sheriff’s Department wanted to inform the public it does not solicit by phone, and advises anyone who receives similar, suspicious calls to not give out personal information — particularly social security numbers and bank account numbers — and report the call to the Sheriff’s Dept. at (714)647-7000.


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