Sheriff Warns of Telephone Scammers


The Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office is warning citizens of a fraudulent scheme in which callers identifying themselves as employees of the sheriff’s office warn residents they owe money for failing to appear for jury duty.

Umatilla County Sheriff Terry Rowan said a woman reported a phone call on Thursday from a man who identified himself as Cpt. Holloway who was working with a “Lt. Doyle” from the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office.

Rowan said the two men have been calling people in the area and telling them they have failed to report for jury duty, or that there is an active warrant out for their arrest. They go on to tell the victim “they can avoid jail by paying a fee.” They ask the victim to provide personal and banking information to them, or ask them to go to a local store and purchase a “Green Dot” pre‐paid visa card. They then give very specific instructions on how to mail the card to the scammers. Once they know the cards are on the way, they tell the victim to then report to the courthouse for final paperwork.

“What has been disturbing is the fact these individuals identify themselves as working for the sheriff’s office, courts, and other law enforcement agencies and come off very convincing,” said Rowan. “In one case the scammer identified themselves as a judge. However, law enforcement nor the courts will conduct business in this fashion. Don’t be fooled by these individuals. Please protect your personal and banking information, and most importantly do not send money or pre‐paid Visa cards. These types of scams are difficult to track down, because they could originate from outside the United States.”

Rowan urges everyone to report any suspicious activity to the county’s 24-hour dispatch center at 541-966-3651.