File Photo – Lake County Sheriff’s Office | Photo: Woo-Sung Shim / Lake and McHenry County Scanner

Authorities are warning that scammers have recently been targeting Lake County residents by claiming to be with the sheriff’s office and telling callers they have a warrant.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office and 19th Judicial Circuit Court said in a joint statement Wednesday that the scam involves con artists calling 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.

The scammer informs the victim that they missed a jury summons and an arrest warrant, a citation, or citations, have been issued to them.

The scammer then attempts to instruct the victim how to purchase a “voucher” in order to avoid arrest.

Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli said that neither the sheriff’s office nor the 19th Judicial Circuit Court would ever call a resident to request money.

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Lake County Government will not ask for or accept payment in the form of gift cards, Green Dot cards, Venmo or cryptocurrency.

Covelli said most of the time the scammers are operating out of other states or countries.

“The best course of action is to hang up and if utilizing a cellphone, block the caller’s telephone number from being able to contact you again. You may also file a report with your local law enforcement agency,” Covelli said.

Anyone ever doubtful of a government official contacting them by phone can always hang up and call back utilizing the known telephone number for the government office which contacted them.

Residents should never provide personal information if they did not initiate a phone conversation.

Anyone who believes they have been scammed should file a report with their local law enforcement agency.