May 20, 2024

Portland, Ore. - The Auditor’s Office received a report to the Good Government Hotline about a scam that we want to make sure the public knows about. A community member told us that a person claiming to be a Multnomah County Sheriff’s officer called them and told them they needed to pay the “officer” $3,000 from an ATM or they would be arrested.

Fortunately, the community member knew it was a scam and reported it to us. When we shared news about this scam with the Sheriff’s Office, they let us know that they are trying to get the word out so people don’t fall victim to this and similar schemes. 

Sheriff’s Office officials told us about scammer tactics that have been reported to them:

Using the names of actual Sheriff’s employees.

Falsifying caller ID to make it look like the Sheriff’s Office is calling.

Providing a fake badge number or case number.

Claiming the person has a warrant or unpaid court fines, or has missed jury duty and must pay a fine with a gift card, cash app, or cryptocurrency - or be arrested. 

Demanding a person stay on the phone with them until a transaction occurs. 

Telling the person they can’t contact family or friends for advice.

Providing a call back number with a falsified phone tree.

If you are called by a person claiming to be from the Sheriff’s Office and they are requesting payment in any capacity, DO NOT SEND MONEY or engage with these individuals. Just hang up. They do not represent the Sheriff’s Office.

If you have been a victim of this scam, please file a police report by calling 503-823-3333 and select the option for non-emergency police reporting in the jurisdiction that reflects your residence. You can learn more at the Sheriff’s website.