Sheriff John Anderson said the new technique involves obtaining people's personal information before contacting them and using it to convince them it's not a scam.
A Madera County woman recently received a call from a man claiming to represent the U.S. Attorney General's Office, Anderson said. He then read her her Social Security number to convince her the call was legitimate.
Anderson said the caller then proceeded to tell her there was a legal matter she failed to clear and threatened to have her arrested if she did not wire $5,000 to him.
Anderson said the chances of finding such scammers is rare, and urges victims to take immediate steps to protect their identity by requesting a free copy of their credit report and looking it over for inconsistencies.
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