The Warrant For My Arrest Scam

scam-alert2I had great fun today talking with “Lt. David O’Neal” of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, who left a message on my voicemail to let me know that a warrant had been issued for my arrest. He told me I had to call him back today at 213-334-6708. I did…knowing full well it was a scam. He answered the phone.
CONMAN: Los Angeles County Sheriff Department.
ME: I’m looking for Lt. David O’Neal.
CONMAN: This is the operator. I will connect you. Please hold.
<hold for two minutes, then same guy gets back on the line>
CONMAN: This is Lt. O’Neal. How may I help you?
ME: This is Lee Goldberg, you called me today. You said there’s a warrant for my arrest. What’s going on?
CONMAN: Let me check the database.
<hold for two minutes>
CONMAN: Is this Lee Goldberg, who lives at XYZ? (Mispronounces name of my street and the city)
ME:  Yes.
CONMAN: This is in regards to a sums sent to you on October 3 for a court appearance on November 8.
ME: A sums?
CONMAN: Yes, it was sent to your house.
ME: What is a sums?
CONMAN: Excuse me for a moment.
<short hold>
CONMAN: This is in regards to a summons.
ME: Oh, a summons. You didn’t say that.
CONMAN: Yes, I did. Sorry if I wasn’t clear. You have been placed by the court on a D & R. Are you claiming this was a postal failure to deliver and that you are not evading the court.
ME: Yes.
CONMAN: Okay. Do you have a pen and paper?
ME: Yes.
CONMAN: The honorable Judge Virginia Phillips, located in courthouse C, has issued two class C warrants, STA, for failure to appear, docket number 205-20-16, and COC, for contempt of court, docket #205-31-93
ME: Gee, that sounds serious. What did I do?
CONMAN: I do not have access to that information. The court documents are sealed. I am only advising you about the court’s action.
ME: Is this about the attempted murder charge?
CONMAN: Probably, sir.
ME: I thought the statute of limitations had run out.
CONMAN: The statute is still in force. 
ME: Maybe it’s the kidnapping thing.
CONMAN:  I don’t know. Do you have a pen and paper? Write this down. I am Lt. David O’Neal — N-E-A-L, badge # 3193, I am located at 226 Temple Street, LA , 90012 You will have to come down here today to sign an affidavit to appear.
ME: Now?
CONMAN: Not yet. This is a courtesy call to advise you what is going on and to alleviate the situation at hand. I need to advise you that your name is going into the NCIC database. This is standard procedure in cases like this, but don’t be alarmed.
ME: I’m very alarmed. I thought the attempted murder allegations were behind me. 
CONMAN: Before you come down, you need to provide a bond for the STA, which is a failure to appear, and one for the COC, contempt of court. The amount of each bond is $990. The money will be refunded when you appear. These bonds are required to guarantee your appearance. Do you own a mobile device?
ME: Yes.
CONMAN: Good. I need you to stay on the line throughout this procedure. It’s very tedious, but necessary, and will show your good faith to the court.
ME: I don’t have time for a tedious procedure. This has been tedious enough. Why don’t you just come out to the lobby?
CONMAN: What do you mean?
ME: I’m at the Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station right now.
<Hangs up>
I wasn’t at the Sheriff’s station, of course. I imagine there are some morons who fall for this…but it’s hard to believe considering that the perpetrators are so lame. Here’s the Sheriff’s alert about the scam

23 thoughts on “The Warrant For My Arrest Scam”

  1. Something like this once happened to me. It wasn’t a scam artist, just a bill collector I’m afraid. He said if I didn’t pay up he’d contact the Sheriff in my county and have an arrest warrant issued for my arrest. I was only 20, so I called my dad in a panic and explained I needed $130 right away to pay my Montgomery Ward bill or they were going to have me arrested. He told me not to worry about the call, then gave me hell for allowing my MW card to go to collections.

  2. Your comeback was priceless! I’m guessing he had a strange accent… and you could hear other callers in the background… like he was sitting in an open space with about 100 other strange people making the same calls to hundreds of other people… I one time made the mistake of attempting to “reason with” with one of those guys who calls up about something wrong with “my computer.” It is truly so much fun to make up stories about what happened to my computer that I don’t have it any more… lol

    • When they say, they’re calling about your computer, it’s pretty easy. I just started saying… that’s interesting, because I don’t have a computer any more… and then the story takes off from there!!! Try it! you’ll like it!

  3. I usually get the ones from “Microsoft” saying that something is wrong with my computer. I keep playing along with them until they want me to start pushing keys on the keyboard, then I tell them that they’re having a very bad day as they have inadvertently called Interpol. I demand their company name and location, and they immediately hang up.

  4. I usually get calls in the late afternoon after court closes asking for money to prevent a relative from being arrested in the morning for warrants just issued. I like to push the person for information – their name, company name and location (always claim to be an outside service hired by the court), the charges, etc. Surprise, surprise, this information is always “confidential” so it can’t be provided. I just keep asking for the information over and over until they get annoyed enough to terminate the call or threaten to call the police and have me arrested for my attitude and obstruction of justice. I ask them to please place the call and offer to hold while it is being made and until the police arrive. I then let them know while I’m waiting I’ll be calling the police from my other phone to have them arrested. The call then ends very quickly.

  5. Same scam happened to me when I was at a writing conference, only it was for my 89-year-old mom. Slightly more credible because there were 2 callers and both sounded like West Texas sheriffs. Classic accents. But when I told them I’d called the TV news to come on out and meet us at her Alzheimer’s Facility … they hung up.

  6. We’ve been getting robocalls from the “IRS” about a warrant about to be issued in our name, but always when we were out, so no chance to play.

    Your improv about the murder and kidnapping stuff was inspired; did the con hesitate even for a second?

    • No, much to my surprise. I think they are so focused on their script that they aren’t really listening. Plus they must occasionally encounter people with records or a guilty conscience or else nobody would pay.

  7. I got one like this a few years ago asking for a donation to some police charity. I told him how I thought it was great that they were doing all this wonderful work, and sure, I would love to make a contribution. It was just that I was leaving for work so could he call me there? Sure, he said, what’s the number. I gave him a number and said when the front desk answers just ask for the detectives bureau, I should be at my desk in 15-20 minutes.


  8. When i get that type of call i act extremely cooperative and ask them to please call me back on my private line…then i give them the number to the FBI office in San Diego.

  9. Haha! I googled those words because I got an automated message like that. I wanted to see if anyone else got one like that. Your response was priceless! I love how you caught him off guard! I wonder where the call came from. I’ve played really stupid w/fake bank info before Thanks for sharing!!

  10. Read ALL your responses! Great read! I’ve tried to call back one number 3 times and keep getting a busy signal. I’ve tried calling a second (scam) number but it just disconnects. No fun!! But I’m definitely going to memorize the FBI’s number now!

  11. Hi all,

    I keep getting the same call from various locations stating that I have 4 warrants out for my arrest! Its obviously a recorded message with improper grammar. What are my options other than blocking each one. Thanks.


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