Phone Scam Targets Lane County Residents

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EUGENE, Ore. — The Lane County Sheriff’s Office said callers have been trying to scam residents, by demanding money orders for red light camera tickets and most recently failing to show up for jury duty.

Beth Anderson knew something seemed a bit odd when she got a call demanding money Sunday night. “He said it’s for not reporting for jury duty. You have a $489 fine and $500 for contempt of court plus fees,” said Anderson.

She said the caller identified himself as a Lieutenant from the Lane County Sheriff’s Office and told her she had an hour and a half to get him the money or she’d be going to jail.

“Money had to be paid at Walmart with a voucher,” said Anderson.

So she hung up the phone and called the Sheriff’s Department. “The receptionist there said no that’s a scam,” said Anderson.

The Sheriff’s Office said scammers have been making calls to Lane County residents for a couple weeks.

“What it is is they’re trying to get people to send them a debit card or a visa card that they put money on at the store. You go down to the store and you buy a green dot credit card,” said Sgt. David Bones, Lane County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson.

That’s just not the way the Lane County Sheriff’s Office or any law enforcement agency operates.

“That’s not normally how any of us pay bills anyway. We write checks or we go down in person and pay it in cash or we do an online transaction, a secure system,” said Bones.

The department is recommending anyone who gets a call like Anderson did to call the Sheriff’s office before sending any money to anybody.

“Everyone be careful because if we weren’t this careful we could have lost a lot of money,” said Anderson.

The Lane County Sheriff’s Office said it’s working to track down who’s making these calls, but the phones these scammers are using aren’t registered to anyone which makes it difficult.

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