The Santa Barbara Police Department has recently become aware of a concerning trend involving scams that exploit the trust and authority associated with law enforcement. Scammers are using the names of actual officers to deceive community members and extort money by falsely claiming that warrants have been issued against them.
How the Scam Works:
Scammers may contact you via phone calls, emails, or messages, posing as law enforcement officers. They will often claim that you have outstanding legal issues or an arrest warrant in your name. To add credibility, they may use the names of real officers from our department and manipulate caller ID or voicemail messages to appear legitimate.=
- Unsolicited communication claiming legal issues or arrest warrants.
- Pressure tactics, threats, or demands for immediate payment.
- Requests for payment via unconventional methods such as gift cards, wire transfers, or cryptocurrency.
What You Should Know:
Verification – If you receive such communication, independently verify the information. Call the Santa Barbara Police Department directly (805-897-2376) to confirm the status of any warrants or legal issues.
Legitimate Payments – Law enforcement agencies will not demand immediate payment over the phone, especially via unconventional methods. Be skeptical of any requests for payment that seem suspicious.
Personal Information – Do not provide personal or financial information to unsolicited callers. Legitimate law enforcement agencies will not ask for sensitive information over the phone.
Report – If you believe you have been targeted by this scam, report it to the Santa Barbara Police Department immediately. Your information can help us investigate and prevent further victimization.
Please stay vigilant and share this information with friends and family.