COOK COUNTY, IL – Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart is warning the public of a telephone scam where a caller identifying as a Sheriff’s Office employee tells victims they must pay for missing court or risk going to jail.
The scammer tells victims that they missed a court date and have two options to remedy the situation: go through criminal proceedings, where they will be held in jail, or attend a civil hearing through zoom and pay a $1,500 “collateral bond” for each charge or citation using a mobile banking app.
In order to make the scam seem legitimate, the callers have been using the name of actual Sheriff’s Office employees, and the phone number on caller ID appears to be that connected to the Sheriff’s Office. The caller may also use legal or police jargon during the call to appear legitimate and further intimidate the victims.
The Sheriff’s Office does not request payments in this manner, nor does the Office accept payment via money transfer apps. The public should be aware that these types of calls are scams, and they should not send money or provide personal information to the caller.
Individuals who believe they have been a victim of this scam are asked to call the Sheriff’s Police Investigation Section at 708-865-4896 or the Sheriff’s Police non-emergency number at 847-635-1188.