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Teton County Sheriff warns scammers are calling and pretending to be deputies


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DRIGGS — Authorities are warning Teton County residents to be on the lookout for a scam involving fake law enforcement officers.

This weekend the Teton County Sheriff’s Office says its dispatchers have received nearly a dozen calls from people who have been contacted by the Warrant’s and Citations Division of the sheriff’s office. Each time, the people were told there were warrants out for their arrest.

The problem is – there isn’t a Warrants and Citations division at the office. There are also no arrest warrants.

Officials say the calls are from scammers looking to get information and cash from victims.

Dispatch Supervisor Heather Frei tells when the scammers call, the caller ID reads (208) 354-2323, which is the correct phone number of the sheriff’s office.

The scammers then pose as a deputy. First the scammer asks to confirm your name and address. Then the faux-deputy tells the would-be victim they have two misdemeanor warrants out for their arrest or a warrant out for missing jury duty.

The scammers then request the person goes to a store or kiosk and purchases phone cards, gift cards, or iTunes cards for a specific sum of money in order to make the warrants go away.

Teton County Sheriff Tony Liford wants to remind the public if you have a warrant for your arrest, deputies will not call you and tell you about it. Furthermore the sheriff’s office does not accept money over the phone, nor do they take gift cards as payments for fines.

A version of this scam is reported in eastern Idaho counties several times a year. In most cases, it is not successful, but has spoken with people in the last year who have lost money to scammers pretending to be law enforcement.

Area law enforcement advise once money is transferred to a gift card, it becomes nearly impossible to trace, and is often routed outside of the country. The vast majority of people that fall victim to these scams do not get their money back.

Liford says anyone who gets one of these phone calls should immediately hang up. Residents can also call the sheriff’s office directly at (208) 354-2323 to verify whether or not law enforcement is trying to contact them.