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The original item was published from 1/8/2014 3:49:24 PM to 4/1/2014 12:15:00 AM.

News Flash

Sheriff's Office

Posted on: January 8, 2014

[ARCHIVED] Telephone Scams

Flagstaff, AZ; Coconino County Sheriff’s Deputies are investigating a series of phone calls during which an adult male caller identifies himself as Lieutenant Mike Harris of the Sheriff’s Office Warrant Division. The caller requests to speak with a specific person and informs the person they have failed to appear in court on a Photo-Radar Speeding Ticket. He further states he and his staff are in the process of issuing an arrest warrant for this failure to appear in court. He then instructs the victim to go to a local retail outlet and obtain a “Green Dot” pre-paid debit card in the amount of $250.00. In some of the cases, he advises the person to stay on the phone, and if they disconnect the phone call or fail to do as instructed, he will immediately send Deputies to their home to arrest them.

The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office does not employ an individual by the name of Mike Harris. Legitimate Sheriff’s Office employees will not call individuals who have failed to appear on a citation and do not attempt to arrange payment by phone. The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office does not utilize Photo Radar as a speed limit enforcement tool.

If you receive a suspicious phone call such as this or one you suspect is a scam, please contact the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office at (928) 774-4523 or the Flagstaff Police Department at (928) 774-1414.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) created the Do Not Call Registry that allows you to stop getting telemarketing calls at home or on your cell phone. You can register either online at or toll free from the number you wish to register at (888) 382-1222 TTY: (866) 290-4236. Registration is free.

Please be aware of the following information regarding telephone scams.

Unscrupulous phone callers frequently use the following tactics:

• A high-pressure sales approach, urging you to "act now" or the offer won't be available later.
• Offer you something that sounds too good to be true, such as a "no-risk investment."
• Ask for your credit card or checking account numbers or other personal financial information.
• Tell you that you have won a "prize" that you have to pay taxes or shipping for in advance.
• Ask you to send money right away, through a wire service or overnight delivery. Fraudulent callers will sometimes offer to pick up the money from your home.

What you can do to avoid being scammed:
• Keep your financial information to yourself. Never give out credit card, checking or savings account information to anyone who calls you, as it is not difficult for someone with this data to draft money from your account.
• Ask the caller to send you information about their product or services. Legitimate companies are often happy to mail you a pamphlet or brochure about what they sell.
• Place your name on the national Do Not Call List.
• Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

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Public & Media Contact: Gerry Blair, Coconino County Sheriff's Office, 928-226-5089

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