First things first: if you're in trouble with the sheriff's office, they won't go about telling you this way.

KCRG says residents of Johnson County are falling for a convincing phone scam appearing to be from that county's Sheriff's Department. It's so convincing, the caller ID number even shows them as the caller.

According to KCRG:

they claim the citizen has an outstanding warrant and demands payment over the phone

Sheriff Brad Kunkel says his office will never do this. "Law enforcement’s not going to ask you for payment by any means like that over the phone, but unfortunately what happens is they seem to target a lot of times seniors and create that sense of urgency that something bad is going to happen to them or a loved one."

A North Liberty man almost fell prey to it. Steve Sherman got a call saying he missed jury duty and had to pay for it with a gift card or money order. The caller gave an address, told Sherman to be there in 20 minutes, or be arrested and go to jail. Sherman hung up and called Kunkel's office immediately.

Unfortunately, it doesn't help that it's so easy to get a hold of most anyone's address and phone number these days, making it easy to convince people these scams are real. If you ever think you are on the end of a scam such as this, do what Steve Sherman did and call your local sheriff's office. In Johnson County that number is (319) 356-6020 and for Linn County, call (319) 892-6100.

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