SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash.--A rash of phone scams were surfacing across the Inland Northwest in February. Suspects identify themselves as lieutenants with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, according to police.
Police said the suspects then demand money from people for missing jury duty.
One suspect even tried to convince a legitimate employee of the Sheriff’s Office that they were in fact colleagues.
“We received a call out of the blue last week from an individual who was stating he was Lt. Carl Jones from SCSO. He was claiming my wife failed to respond to a jury summons,” said one person.
Victims said the caller identifies himself as either Lieutenant Bill Campbell or Lieutenant Carl Jones. They said sometimes the suspect will even identify himself as Captain Davis.
The scammers try to get people to cough up about $700 for missing jury duty.
Official employees of the Sheriff’s Office reached out to the suspect to get his side.
“Not only was he adamant that he was a Lt here, but he handed his phone to his Sgt who was with him and had his Sgt. complete with the legitimate employee of the sheriff's office here,” said Craig Chamberlain with the Spokane Sheriff’s Office.
An official Sheriff’s Office employee then tried to set up a meeting with his alleged colleague.
“Not surprising, they didn't show up but they did not say...oooh and hang up or try to dispute anything, which is scary. They went along with the conversation which is scary,” said Chamberlain.
The numbers the suspect was using have been disconnected. The phone numbers were registered out of Ephrata, but detectives believe the scammers use untraceable pay as you go phones, according to police.