Whatcom County Sheriff warns of phone scam

If you receive a phone call from law enforcement requesting money, assume it’s a scam.

According to the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO), a resident recently reported receiving a phone call from an individual who pretended to be a sheriff’s deputy. The caller said there was an outstanding federal warrant out for his arrest and that he could quash it
for $5,000.

Using the name, title and a similar badge number of a actual WCSO sheriff’s deputy, the caller instructed the man to withdraw the money and go to the Lakeway Drive Fred Meyer in Bellingham and await instruction. The caller was contacted again by the man, who was told to provide a method of accessing the funds.

“Law enforcement will never contact citizens and suggest that they pay funds to quash a warrant,” said county sheriff Bill Elfo in a press release. “Citizens should assume these calls are a scam and refuse to participate.”

Most of the individuals making fraudulent calls are from out of state, and sometimes out of the country, according to the WCSO. Despite that, many of them use phone numbers with Whatcom County area codes and prefix numbers, making them difficult to identify.

To reach the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office, call the non-emergency line at 360/778-6600.

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