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Deputies warn of high-frequency scams during October

Posted at 5:09 PM, Oct 02, 2018

The Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office is warning people to be on the lookout for several familiar but rising scams on the central coast.

Deputies said they’ve received reports of a virtual kidnapping scam and several reports of a Southern California Edison scam in the past 24-hours.

In recent weeks, they’ve responded to reports of the following scams:

  • Virtual kidnapping scam – when the caller claims to have kidnapped a family or friend and demands ransom payment for their release.
  • Sheriff’s Deputy scam – when the caller poses as a Sheriff’s deputy and tells people there has been a warrant for their arrest because they did not show up for jury duty.
  • Southern California Edison scam – when the caller claims to be from SCE and threatens to shut off the resident’s electricity if they do not pay over the phone.
  • Dispatcher scam – when the caller claims they can upgrade or fix your computer software if you give them your financial information.

If you receive a phone call from someone and suspect that it could be a scam, hang up and immediately call law enforcement.

If someone claims to have kidnapped your loved one, report it to the FBI PAL line at (310) 477-6565.