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Penzone asking Maricopa County residents to be mindful of phone scam

(AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX — Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone is asking residents to be mindful of a new phone scam in which perpetrators are pretending to be employees of his office.

“Thieves will get creative and often identify with an authority that is going to put a little scare into you,” Penzone told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac & Gaydos on Wednesday. “They’re going to give you the impression that if you don’t take care of it immediately, they’re coming to get you and you’re going to jail.”

Scammers identifying themselves as MCSO employees have been requesting immediate financial compensation in the form of cash, money orders or gift cards in order to avoid legal trouble, according to a press release.

The scam has been focused around residents being told they have a warrant out for their arrest for missing jury duty or unpaid fines, according to the release.

Penzone said MCSO employees do not make collections over the phone.

“It should be a tip of the hand for you,” Penzone said. “I don’t want to victim shame here, but I will say use common sense and understand that we are not going to by phone try to make a collection.

“If we’re going to talk to someone, we’re going to do it in person.”

MCSO is asking that anyone who receives a call that matches the description to report it to the department at 602-876-8477.

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