Phone scammer poses as Summit County Sheriff’s Office lieutenant
November 21, 2017
The Summit County Sheriff's Office received multiple reports on Monday of a telephone scam involving perpetrators claiming to be from the Sheriff's Office.
The Sheriff's Office has one confirmed case of a victim receiving telephone calls from someone identifying themselves as Lieutenant Alan Siddoway, a veteran of more than 30 years with the Sheriff's Office, Lt. Andrew Wright said.
The scammer told the victim she had an outstanding warrant for missing jury duty and demanded money via gift cards. Wright said the victim gave the scammer more than $3,000 worth of gift cards.
"Someone is calling from a Park City or local number and they are identifying themselves as Alan Siddoway, who is actually one of our lieutenants," Wright said. "He's a very well-known name with the Sheriff's Office and he's an East Side resident. People know who he is and when they hear that name they think it's legitimate and that's our concern. We're afraid there will be a lot of victims falling for this scam."
We’re afraid there will be a lot of victims falling for this scam,” said Lt. Andrew Wright, Summit County Sheriff’s Office
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Of the reports that were filed on Monday, Wright said, it is unclear if any victims lost money in the transactions. He said the Sheriff's Office was originally notified of the scam attempts when a county employee received a call over the weekend.
"Thank goodness the employee knew who Alan was and knew that is not the way we operate," he said. "I sent it out on our Facebook and posted it to social media and had multiple people comment that they have received a phone call as well."
Law enforcement does not serve any warrants by making a phone call and demanding money, Wright said. He added, "No law enforcement or federal agency is going to ask for payment over the phone." Instead, he said, an individual would receive a personal visit from someone who can provide credentials.
"Under no circumstances should you ever give money over the phone," he said. "A gift card should be your first red flag. But, if you have questions, call the Sheriff's Office to see if that is something we would do."
The Sheriff's Office has the phone number of the individual or persons calling Summit County residents and the phone company has been contacted. However, Wright said the person is using a voiceover, which makes it difficult to track.
"The company has thousands of phone numbers they sell and this person can change numbers or mask their location," he said. "It's very sneaky and they are getting more and more creative. I'm guessing they went on our website and grabbed one of our own names to use. It's scary and we are hoping people don't fall for the scam."
Wright encouraged anyone who receives a similar call to contact the Sheriff's Office and file a report. He emphasized "do not complete any financial transactions or provide personal information."
"A lot of people are being affected by this," he said. "We are trying to get the word out to save people money, especially with it being the holidays."
To report a fraudulent phone call or learn more information about similar scams, call the Sheriff's Office non-emergency line at 435-615-3600.
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