CONTRA COSTA COUNTY -- Authorities are warning the public about a man pretending to be from the Contra Costa Sheriff's Office who has been calling residents and trying to scam them out of money.

Several residents on Monday reported receiving phone calls from the scammer, the sheriff's office said Monday. The caller, who claims to be with the sheriff's office, tells residents they have an outstanding traffic violation or warrant for their arrest, have failed to appear to jury duty or for a court case, and if they do not pay fines and fees they will be arrested.

The caller then instructs residents to pay over the phone with a reloadable prepaid card and gives out phone numbers belonging to the sheriff's office, authorities said.

The sheriff's office does not collect fines or fees through reloadable prepaid cards. Anyone who receives such a call should hang up, and contact the local law enforcement agency to report the incident, the sheriff's office said.

David DeBolt covers breaking news. Contact him in Richmond at 510-262-2728. Follow him at Twitter.com/daviddebolt.



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