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ACSO warns about 'federal warrant' scam

The sheriff's office is warning the public to be on the alert.
BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 20: A customer tries out the new Apple iPhone 5C smartphone at the Berlin Apple Store on the first day of sales on September 20, 2013 in Berlin, Germany.

The Ada County Sheriff’s Office is warning the public about a new twist on an old phone scam.

Scammers are calling resident and threatening them by saying there is a federal warrant out for their arrest. This is a new take on the old jury duty scam.

The sheriff’s office says their deputies will never call or threaten to arrest anyone because they missed jury duty, or have a federal arrest warrant, or an outstanding civil judgment or anything like that.

Deputies say you will never be asked to put funds or payment on a pre-paid credit card to cancel the arrest warrant, jury duty or some other made-up charge. However, scammers will do that.

They are targeting citizens in Ada County by using phone numbers with a 208 area code and use the names of current ACSO employees to sell the ruse.

In the latest version of the scam, the callers pretend to be a sheriff’s sergeant and tell people they have outstanding federal arrest warrants. They then threaten to arrest people if they don’t provide personal information over the phone.

Several dozen Ada County residents reported getting the phone calls this month saying they owe anywhere from $495 to $4,000.

The calls have 208 area codes and appear to be from a local business, government agency or friends, but it is really from someone trying to get people to answer their phone.

The Better Business Bureau says people can protect themselves from becoming victims of identity theft by never giving out any personal or financial information over the phone.

If you did miss jury duty in Ada County, you'll get a letter in the mail. If you had a civil judgment, you would be served in person, not over the phone.

No one from the Ada County Sheriff's Office will ever ask for a credit card number over the phone.

If you have received one of these scam phone calls, contact the Ada County Sheriff's Office at 377-6790 or the Better Business Bureau online.

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