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'Officer' calling for money is a fraud, real police say

Published: Thursday, July 30 2015 2:48 p.m. MDT

The Summit County Sheriff's Office is looking for a man who has been calling residents, claiming to be an officer, and threatening to jail them if they don't send money to take care of a warrant. (Shutterstock) The Summit County Sheriff's Office is looking for a man who has been calling residents, claiming to be an officer, and threatening to jail them if they don't send money to take care of a warrant. (Shutterstock)

PARK CITY — If a person calls claiming to be a police officer and asks for money to settle a warrant, the caller is an imposter.

That's according to real police officers.

The Summit County Sheriff's Office says someone has recently been calling residents claiming to be "Major Thomas Wilson" from its warrant division and falsely informing them that warrants for their arrest have been issued for failing to show up for jury duty. The fake officer then tells the resident that in order to avoid being arrested, they need to send money to a designated address.

Summit County Sheriff's Capt. Justin Martinez said aside from the fact his department does not have a Major Thomas Wilson or even anyone with the rank of major, police would never ask someone to settle a debt or warrant over the phone.

"We would never go out and tell someone, 'Hey, you missed an appointment, you need to come pay us or we'll come arrest you,'" he said.

Detectives believe the scammer is the same person who tried a similar scheme with a Park City resident and possibly the same person who has been calling residents in Colorado.

Martinez said his office is working on several leads. But until the man is arrested, he cautions residents not to fall for the scam. Officers may call a resident to notify them of a warrant, but they won't ask for money over the phone, he said.

Anyone with information can call the sheriff's office at 435-675-3500.

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