The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office wants to make the public aware of an ongoing scam.  We have recently received multiple reports of a person making random phone calls to citizens where he identifies himself as an employee of the Sheriff’s Office.

In these documented cases, the scammer claims he is a member of the Sheriff’s Office and goes so far as to give out a fictitious name and badge number.  He also claims to work in our “Warrants and Citation Unit,” a unit which does not exist. He makes various claims to the person indicating they are in trouble with the law.  Claims include: Having an unanswered summons for a citation or failing to appear in court / jury duty, which has resulted in a warrant being issued for their arrest. The man orders his target to pay a certain amount of money in fines to avoid being arrested and taken to jail.  

We have taken reports where the suspect requests the person meet them at different locations, such as a grocery store, in order to pay the fine.  We have also received reports of the scam artist directing a person to purchase gift cards and read them the security codes on the card, which allows the suspect access to the money.  Some of the more popular gift cards requested are Vanilla Visa and Green Dot MoneyPak.  Requests are usually made for hundreds of dollars.

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office wants to make it clear to the public that it never makes solicitations for money or asks for the payment of fines over the phone.

These scams tend to come in waves and often target elderly citizens in particular.  It’s important for everyone to stay aware of this trend and have a discussion with family and friends to educate and identify these fraudulent attempts.  If you receive a similar call, do not give in to the caller’s demands.  Please document any information, such as the caller’s name or phone number and report it to the law enforcement agency overseeing your jurisdiction.  The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office accommodates online reporting for this type of matter.  Please visit  and click on “Report a Crime” located at the top of the page.

You may also make a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission by visiting



Contact Information

Tony Botti
Public Information Officer
(559) 600-8137
(559) 977-0379
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