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Deputies warn of high-frequency scams during October

Posted at 5:09 PM, Oct 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-02 20:09:12-04

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.