Bakersfield, CA – The Kern County Sheriff’s Office would like to warn the public about a phone scam targeting residents in the area.

A person claiming to be an officer with the Kern County Sheriff’s Office calls and/or leaves a voicemail urging the victim to call them back regarding a legal matter. They leave a callback number with a recording that says it is the Sheriff’s Office, and even use names of actual employees of KCSO. They then try to convince the victim to pay them for an alleged warrant, often for a failure to appear for jury duty.

This is a scam and the Kern County Sheriff’s Office does not contact the public via telephone to pay fines.

Anyone who receives a call from an unknown person requesting money should research the matter prior to providing any funds or personal information. You can do this by locating the organization’s telephone number online and contacting them directly. When you take a phone call you suspect to be a scam, you can ask the caller for their name, employee identification number and callback number as well as a reference number for the matter they are calling about. This information can be used to contact the organization directly to determine the validity of the request.

If you receive suspicious telephone calls that you believe to be a scam, you are urged to contact the Kern County Sheriff’s Office communication center at (661)861-3110, or your local law enforcement agency, to report the incident.