The Valencia County Sheriff’s Office is warning county residents to be wary of phone calls that appear to come from its office.

In a recent press release, VCSO Undersheriff Mark Kmatz said it has recently come to the attention of the sheriff’s office that scammers are cloning and using sheriff’s office telephone numbers.

Many of the scammers are even posing as members of our agency to solicit payments, the release says. These solicitations come in many forms, and some of the language changes from call to call.

A common tactic is to convince the recipient of the call that a warrant has been issued for their arrest, then offer to take a credit card payment, wire transfer, etc., over the phone.

The Valencia County Sheriff’s Office will not ask you for any type of payment over the phone, Kmatz said in the press release, and reminded residents to be vigilant about providing any personal information or payment over the phone, to anyone who is not already a trusted source.

The origins of these calls are virtually untraceable.

The sheriff’s office wants everyone to know that the best way to protect themselves is, if there’s any doubt about the origins of a call, don’t provide information.

If anyone has fallen prey to these types of scams, they can request a deputy or officer to make a police report by calling the non-emergency dispatch number, 865-9130.

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The Valencia County News-Bulletin is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving Valencia County since 1910 through the highest journalistic and professional business standards. The VCNB is published weekly on Thursdays, including holidays both in print and online.