Law Enforcement Impersonation Scams

Along with other police agencies throughout the state, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office has begun to see another increase in fraud schemes involving the names of actual Sheriff’s Office Personnel. Over the past few weeks we have been made aware of several attempts to illegally solicit money by individuals claiming to work for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. Many of the victims did not initially dismiss the activity as a fraud attempt due to the suspect providing the name and rank of an actual Sheriff’s Office employee.

Victims reporting these crimes have indicated they were contacted by phone, being told they had missed a mandatory court appearance. They have been instructed to send payments to avoid being arrested. In some instances, the suspect has actually requested to meet in person with the victim after payment is made. The suspects in these crimes appear to have done some research on their victims. Several victims have reported receiving the calls at both their home and place of business.

In order to minimize the amount of victims associated with these fraud schemes, The Sheriff’s Office has prepared the following tips and Sheriff’s Office practices for the public.

WCSO PRACTICES

1. 1. Members of the Sheriff’s Office are prohibited from directly accepting payments in any form for citations, warrants or civil process. If you are asked to do otherwise you should immediately report the incident to your local police agency or the Sheriff’s Office.

2. 2. In an attempt to improve efficiency, our Civil Process Division may contact a citizen to arrange service of court documents. If a citizen is concerned about the validity of a civil process attempt, they may contact the Sheriff’s Office or dispatch center. Either will be able to verify a deputy was in fact attempting to serve you with documents.

FRAUD PREVENTION TIPS

1. 1. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be law enforcement, attempt to verify the phone number from which they are calling. Calls originating from the Sheriff’s Office will meet the following standard. Corrections (435)656-66?? Patrol (435)656-65?? The number to our front office is (435)656-6500. Citizens may also verify the caller’s identity by contacting the Sheriff’s Office Dispatch at (435)634-5730.

2. 2. If you are told you missed a court date. Attempt to gather the name of the court and a case number so you can contact the court directly. If legitimate, this information should be readily available.

3. 3. If you are instructed to contact the caller back at a specific number, do some research to verify the number is accurate. Suspects often will answer the phone number which they provided to a victim with an official greeting in an attempt to convince you the situation is legitimate.

4. 4. Be suspicious of any individual requesting or demanding payment in lieu of arrest. Demanded payments are most likely an indicator of fraudulent activity. This is more suspicious if you are instructed to wire money or send pre-paid gift cards.

5. 5. If you are contacted with a request for payment in lieu of arrest, contact police before sending any money. Although we will still investigate the incident if you have sent payment, it is often difficult to identify the suspects and/or recover the lost money.

Fire Restriction Rescindment

Moderated fire danger indices and improved weather conditions have resulted in reduced wildfire hazard. As a result, all fire restrictions set in place on Monday, July 2, 2018 within the areas described below are rescinded beginning July 19, 2018 at 0001 hours. Restrictions outlined below that were put in place on June 1, 2018 are still in effect for the affected areas.

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Fire Restrictions Ordered

Firefighters in Washington County are still battling the West Valley Fire (Pine Mountain) as Independence Day quickly approaches.  The lack of moisture has created extremely dry conditions in Southwest Utah.  In order to further prevent the ignition of forest and rangeland fires, a fire restriction order has been issued by the Utah State Forester.  The order addresses All unincorporated private and all state lands within Beaver, Garfield, Iron, Kane and Washington Counties.  This order does not affect private lands within incorporated towns or city limits. Read more

July Holiday Notice

Please note that the Sheriff’s and Purgatory front offices will be closed Wednesday July 4th and 24th in observance of Independence Day and Pioneer Day. Book and release and Fingerprinting services will be unavailable those days.

“If we are to guard against ignorance and remain free, it is the responsibility of every American to be informed.”

West Valley Fire (Pine Valley) Updates & Closures

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office has received the following update regarding the active wildfire known as the West Valley Fire near Pine Valley.  Please review the following information before heading to the area for recreational purposes.  We would also like to remind the public that restrictions will be in place for the operation of unmanned aircraft (drones) throughout the operation.  Violations may include jail and /or fines.


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Holiday Clerical Office Closures

With the coming Holiday season the Washington County Sheriff’s Office will be closing it’s clerical offices so that our staff may spend time with their families. The Offices will be closed Nov 23 & 24, 2017 for Thanksgiving and Dec 25th and Jan 1st for Christmas and New Years. Book and releases, fingerprints and DNA will not be available Nov 22-24, and Dec 26th. All other law enforcement functions such as jail releases will function as usual.