BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Two Erie County offices are both dealing with imposters claiming to work under their direction.
Deputies say scam artists are calling residents and claiming to be from the sheriff’s office. The scammers ask for Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, bank account information and other personal information in order to collect a supposed fine for outstanding tickets, warrants or other official law enforcement proceedings.
Sheriff Timothy Howard explained, “The sheriff’s office doesn’t conduct any phone solicitation for law enforcement purposes. If you receive one of these calls, try to write down the name of the imposter and number they are calling from and then contact the sheriff’s office immediately.”
Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs’ Office is dealing with a similar situation.
The clerk’s office says residents are being told that a warrant for their arrest will be issued if they fail to dial an out-of-state phone number by 5 p.m. and make payment. The caller, and caller ID, indicates that they are calling from the clerk’s office, which helps convince residents to provide personal and confidential information.
“I want to make clear to the residents of Erie County that these calls are not legitimate, the county clerk’s office does not make phone calls in relation to any types of warrants or to demand that anyone make payments over the phone,” said Jacobs. “If you receive this phone call, hang up. These calls did not originate from this office. Do not provide any personal information to anyone unknown to you.”
He added, “If you do get this type of phishing phone call from any supposed government agency requesting personal information or credit card payment over the phone, hang up immediately and contact the government agency’s public telephone number to verify there are no matters pending in your name.”
If you receive a fictitious call someone claiming they are from the sheriff’s or county clerk’s office, call deputies at 716-858-2903.