Law enforcement warns about local scams

Sweetwater County residents often face scams that claim to be coming from local organizations and businesses.

The Sweetwater County Sheriff's Office recently warned people of a scam that claimed to be from the sheriff's office.

"We are aware of a recent high volume of fraudulent calls allegedly coming from the Sweetwater County Sheriff's Office demanding payment for outstanding arrest warrants and/or the failure to appear for jury duty," the sheriff's office posted on Facebook on November 9. "This is not us, nor is this how we do business. We never ask for payment (for anything) over the phone. If there is an active warrant for your arrest, we generally resolve it by paying you a surprise visit in person and then giving you a ride to the county jail to ensure your appearance before a judge in court."

The sheriff's office pointed out that is is common for scammers to use fake phone numbers to make it appear that the call is from a local source.

"Please know, these are fraudulent scam calls," the post continued. "Never volunteer personal or financial details over the phone. If in doubt, discontinue the call and independently verify its legitimacy."

Another local scam was reported by the Rock Springs Police Department at the beginning of November, which was related to rental properties.

According to a press release from the RSPD, victims of the scam said they found posts on Facebook Marketplace listing a local home for rent. The Facebook page that posted the rentals was identified as Southwest Real Estate.

"Once the victims contacted the poster of the listing, they were instructed to download an app called 'Rently' to obtain a code and access the residence," the press release explained. "The victims advised that once they had agreed to rent the residence, the suspects requested the deposit and first month's rent be sent via wire transfer at Wal-Mart."

By the time the RSPD became aware of the potential scam, the connected Facebook page had been deleted and the suspect couldn't be contacted. Officers confirmed that the local real-estate brokerage firm Southwest Real Estate is aware of the scam and is not associated with it.

"Please be aware of this scam and others like it," the RSPD said. "Do your due diligence in researching rentals and real estate opportunities. To protect yourself from scams, Rock Springs Police Department suggests reaching out directly to the business when conducting transactions involving contracts and money."


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