Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office warns of phone scam

At the end of December, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center received a call from a citizen reporting they’d been called from a phone number belonging to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center. The citizen reported the call was an automated message requesting funds via credit card for the inmate commissary.

Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Allen made it clear that such a request would never originate from the sheriff’s office, dispatch center, or jail.

“HCSO does not accept credit or debit cards at any locations run by HCSO, or for any service they provide,” 

We will never request credit card information from a member of this community, not do we use automated calling systems,” said Sheriff Allen. 

HCSO advised anyone who receives an automated call from any phone number to hang up immediately and never to provide any type of personal information. They advised that most of these types of calls originate from outside the US and are difficult to investigate once they have your information.

“Scammers often use a call router that is placed inside a residence within the U.S. and the resident is cooperating with the scammer,” explained Captain Kevin Malone. “Once the call router is in place, the scammer from outside the country can call into the call router and mask the call using whatever number they want.”

“If you feel like you, or a loved one is being scammed, do not hesitate to call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center at (775) 623-6429,” said Allen.

The Federal Trade 

Commission (FTC) states:

Don’t rely on caller ID to verify who’s calling. It can be nearly impossible to tell whether the caller ID information is real. These are the tips from FTC for handling these calls:

• If you get a strange call from the government, hang up. If you want to check it out, visit the official (.gov) website for contact information. Government employees won’t call out of the blue to demand money or account information. 

• Don’t give out — or confirm — your personal or financial information to someone who calls. 

• Don’t wire money or send money using a reloadable card. In fact, never pay someone who calls out of the blue, even if the name or number on the caller ID looks legit. 

• Feeling pressured to act immediately? Hang up. That’s a sure sign of a scam.