SAN DIEGO – A doctor in the San Diego area warns others after she nearly fell victim to a so-called phone scam that has attracted the attention of the county sheriff’s department.
“They are really aggressive,” said Dr. Puja Vora to FOX 5. “They talk fast, list all these things and do not give you real details or a chance to ask. It’s threatening. It’s scary.”
Vora said she received a call Tuesday night from a San Diego number. At the other end of the line, a man’s voice presented itself as “Lt. Hartman ”with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. He even provided her with a badge number.
The man told Vora that two uniformed officers had come to her work and that he had given the exact address.
“He said they had a summons for me to act as an expert witness in a medical case, and I signed that,” she said.
This is not a new story for the sheriff’s officials. Last month, the department issued a warning to the public to beware of a scam involving an arrest warrant reported by six people. They say a lieutenant Hartman told people they were missing a court appointment and that they should come to the sheriff’s headquarters alone.
“This is a scam,” the department said last month.
According to the caller, Vora was due to appear in court in November, but she did not show up. The man then said that there was now an arrest warrant for Vora.
Vora is actually a doctor at the place the man gave and he had called her personal number, which made it more convincing. Vora said she was told she should come to the sheriff’s department headquarters in Kearny Mesa immediately to clear up the situation.
“I started asking more questions like, ‘What’s the address again? Can you give me the badge number? What’s your name again?'” She said.
In the end, she says the man got angry and told her that she should find out things without his help that she would be arrested and then hung up.
Vora has heard of at least one other doctor in Southern California who recently received a similar call.
“The details they provided, ‘the expert witness for a medical case because of your expertise’ and stuff like that,” she said. “They really use the personal information to get to you.”
It should be noted that the sheriff’s department wants people to know that arrest warrants can not be resolved over the phone or at the department’s headquarters. They would only be able to be cleared through the courts.
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