File Photo | Lake County Sheriff’s Office

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office said that phone scammers are targeting Lake County residents by using names of actual sheriff’s office employees and court judges in a new scam.

The scam involves con artists calling Lake County residents and introducing themselves as a member of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

The scammers use an actual name of a sheriff’s office employee and then inform the victim that a Lake County judge, utilizing the name of an actual judge, issued an arrest warrant, according to Lake County Sheriff Spokesman Sgt. Christopher Covelli.

The caller is instructed to purchase a “voucher” in order to avoid arrest.  Neither the sheriff’s office nor the 19th Judicial Circuit call residents and request money, Covelli said.

“Lake County Government will not ask for or accept payment in the form of gift cards or ‘Green Dot’ cards,” Covelli said.

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Police say that most of the times the scammers are operating out of state or from other countries. The best course of action is to hang up and block the caller’s telephone number. A report can be filed with your local law enforcement agency.

“If you are ever doubtful of a government official contacting you by phone, you may always hang up and call back utilizing the known telephone number for the government office which contacted you,” Covelli said.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents to not provide any personal information if they did not initiate the conversation.