MARTINEZ -- The Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office is warning residents of a recent telephone scam where a man impersonating a law enforcement officer tells people they are the target of an arrest warrant and demands money.

Spokesman Jimmy Lee said since last month, the man, who identifies himself as "Lieutenant Stevens," has called numerous residents in East Contra Costa County, telling listeners that they have a warrant for their arrest. In order to clear the warrant, "Lieutenant Stevens" then requests payment over the phone through reloadable prepaid cards that can be purchased at local drugstores.

Lee said there is no one by that name employed by the Office of the Sheriff and that it is not the practice of any law enforcement agency to have people clear their warrants over the telephone through reloadable prepaid cards.

Unfortunately, Lee added, several people have fallen victim to the scam.

Anyone receiving such a call should refuse to provide any personal information to the caller and should then contact their local law enforcement agency and notify them of the incident.

Lee said the Sheriff's Office is working with East County law enforcement agencies to identify and arrest the suspect.

Contact Katie Nelson at knelson@bayareanewsgroup.com and follow her at Twitter.com/katienelson210.