Sheriff’s Department releases scam alert special bulletin

Malibu residents are reminded to be vigilant and combat online and phone scammers

By Emmanuel Luissi

Special to The Malibu Times 

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has released a scam alert for residents of Los Angeles County. Shared on Instagram by the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station, the scam alert reminds residents in the Malibu area to stay vigilant and practice situational awareness to combat threat-based impersonation scams. 

Residents are asked to be aware that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department personnel will never ask for payment over phone, email, or any other means of communication.

The special bulletin reassures residents that financial transactions between residents and the Sheriff’s Department will always be handled in person at local sheriff’s stations, courthouses, or custody facilities.

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The department also urges residents to be vigilant against scams from other threat-based impersonation scams where scammers use tactics to impersonate government officials. These scammers gather information on potential victims from online sources such as LinkedIn, social media accounts, professional profiles and online search tools. 

Scammers will contact potential victims through calls, texts, and emails using contact information that resembles official government agency phone numbers or email addresses.

Scammers will threaten potential victims with arrest for outstanding warrants or other legal issues that could only be resolved by sending money through the phone or email via gift cards or cryptocurrency. 

Scammers may even demand a photo for virtual booking and may demand the victim stay on the phone until the demands are met.

Residents are urged to stay calm in the event of a possible scam and to not be pressured by threatening callers. They are asked to verify phone numbers, emails and the authenticity of claims made by unknown contacts by visiting a local sheriff’s station. 

The bulletin reminds residents to never send money or give bank account information, credit card details, or other personal information to anyone they do not know or trust.

Any victims of an impersonation scam are asked to contact their local sheriff’s station or police department.

Victims who wish to report anonymously could do so by contacting Crime Stoppers on lacrimestoppers.org or by calling 1-800-222-TIPS.

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