– Press release from Bishop Police Department
The Bishop Police Department would like to make the public aware of 3 different types of telephone scams targeting residents in the Bishop area. We have had many reports of scams circulating in our area and unfortunately we have had some residents fall victim to these scams.
A new scam which has the police department very concerned is a male subject calling residences and claiming to be a representative of the Bishop Police Department. This individual advises the victim that he or she needs to appear in court on a specific time because they failed to show up for jury duty. The male caller identifies himself as “Sgt. Burns” and advises you can show up to court; pay a fine; or go to jail. The fine amount is anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. The male caller is very aggressive and advises the victim to put the money on a “Green Dot Card” and mail to a specific address.
If you have not shown up for jury duty, the county will notify you through the mail. Law enforcement will not call an individual and use scare tactics to make you pay a fine and or show up for jury duty. We recommend calling the police department and we will assist you.
Vehicle accident scams are becoming very popular within our community as well. A telephone call is made to a citizen; the caller asks for a specific person by their full name and tells them a family member has been in a vehicle accident. The caller advises in order to avoid insurance problems and higher premiums to pay a specific amount for vehicle damages. The caller requests the victim to “wire” money to an account to resolve the situation. Once the money has been wired, many victims realize they were scammed and are unable to retrieve their money back.
The Bishop Police Department has also received several reports of subjects claiming to be “representatives” from the Internal Revenue Service and demanding payment. The IRS urges citizens they do not threaten people for money and advise people to hang up if they receive this type of call. The IRS never asks for credit cards or prepaid information over the telephone. The IRS will not ask for immediate payment over the telephone and will not take enforcement action following a phone conversation. For more information regarding this topic, please visit www.irs.gov.
We are asking the public to become educated on these scams and any potential new ones. Be suspicious of callers who demand immediate payment for any reason over the telephone. If you receive a telephone call and believe it may be a scam, please don’t hesitate to call the Bishop Police Department at 760-873-5866.