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Summit County sheriff warns of 'arrest warrant' scam calls

Published November 1, 2013 4:52 pm

Crime • Caller tells residents to pay up or be jailed for missed jury duty.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Park City area residents are receiving telephone calls from a man claiming to be a Summit County sheriff's officer, who is demanding money to head off an imminent arrest over alleged missed jury duty.

Summit County Sheriff David Edmunds says the man, who has identified himself as "Major Thomas Wilson," is a fraud. No one by that name works for the sheriff.

Such scams have been making the rounds of late in the Intermountain West, with similar calls being made elsewhere in Utah and, especially in the past week, in Summit County and Colorado.

Typically, after attempting to frighten the person who answers the call, the scammer indicates police are on their way or about to leave to arrest them — unless they arrange through various means to settle the issue with cash.

A similar scam involves threatened legal actions over unpaid payday loans the targeted victim never took out, unless money is immediately wired to the caller.

As for arrest warrants, if one really is issued, police say, it is not their practice to call first to warn a fugitive of their plans, let alone demand money to make the problem go away.

As for the warrant scam calls in Summit County, Edmunds asks that anyone receiving such calls contact is office at 435-615-3500.

remims@sltrib.com

Twitter: @remims