Erie County Sheriff warns of scam calls impersonating sheriff’s office employees

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Erie County Sheriff’s Office is warning individuals of scam phone calls purporting to be from law enforcement officials.

The sheriff’s office said in a press release Monday that some Erie County residents have reported receiveing calls from an individual claiming to represent the office’s warrants and citations division, saying the call is about “an urgent civil matter.”

The ECSO says these calls are fraudulent, and that no individual should ever provide information such as social security numbers, birth dates or bank account information over the phone.

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The sheriff’s office explained that it is rare for the warrant or enforcement division employees to communicate with individuals over the phone.

“On rare occasions, if phone numbers are provided by lawyers or plaintiffs, deputies will reach out leaving information as to the process to be served. They will provide their name along with an Erie County phone number,” the sheriff’s office said.

Rather than cold call individuals, it is more common for the ECSO to leave instructions for individuals to contact them. The most common example of phone communication with the public is when service is attempted and officers leave behind a “service card” with a number for individuals to call.

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“At no time do sworn members of the Civil Enforcement Division and the Family Court Warrants Division leave telephonic messages that are threatening, intimidating, or so vague as to leave the recipient questioning ‘what could this be about?'” the office said.

If you are targetted with one of these phone calls, the sheriff’s office asks that you notify your local police department.

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Justin McMullen is a Western New York native who joined the News 4 team in 2023. You can read more of his work here.

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