The following is a news release from the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office.
The Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office would like to make the public aware of a phone scam hitting our area that appears to have come from a Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office Number.
The suspects are calling individuals pretending to be a grandchild or relative in an attempt to convince them they are in our jail and in need of bail money. The Caller ID indicates the actual number of the Bonneville County Jail, (208) 529-1315, however, the calls are not coming from our facility or offices. It’s believed the suspects are using some type of spoof system that masks the actual origination of the call.
These types of scams are not uncommon and similar to ones where suspects posing as the IRS, officers, deputies or court personnel attempt to get money under threat of arrest or other consequences. At times the phone number of the suspect goes to a fake voicemail account or an actual person not involved in the scam who is unaware their number was masked and used by the suspects.
Typically these scams center around the suspect asking for either credit card information or for the victims to obtain various money card brands such as Green Dot, i-tunes, and Google, to transfer money to from their personal accounts as a way to pay off fines, bonds, or avoid warrants for arrest.
This method is ALWAYS a tell-tale sign of a scam as local courts and law enforcement NEVER accept money from the public in this manner and never solicit money over the phone as a way for people to avoid arrest.
Our office, and many others across the state, continually get reports of different variations of these scams. Some may be legitimate phone solicitation for genuine causes or business. We urge the public to ask questions, take the time to verify who is calling you use caution what information you provide over the phone, and keep a close eye on your bank and social media accounts. You can always contact your local law enforcement or public safety to verify if an officer is trying to get in touch with you for a legitimate reason or if your loved one has actually been booked into jail.
If you have fallen victim to a phone scam that resulted in a loss of money or property, we urge you to contact your local law enforcement and make a report of it.