Phone scammers pretending to be Cook County sheriff's official

RIVERSIDE (Sun-Times Media Wire) - A police chief in west suburban Riverside is warning residents about recent phone scams in which a caller claims to be a commander with the Cook County sheriff’s office.

Authorities have received several reports in the last two weeks of people receiving calls from someone claiming to be associated with the Cook County sheriff’s office, according to a statement from Riverside Police Chief Tom Weitzel. The caller claims the victim failed to appear for a federal jury subpoena and asks them to pay a fine or face arrest.

In some cases, the scammer will obtain a person’s cell phone number and send text messages claiming to be with the sheriff’s office or be a federal court official, police said.

The caller uses the names of current police officials and might have a background in both legal and police terminology, police said.

Residents are being told to hang up and not give out any information if they receive such calls.

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