SAN DIEGO — A senior citizen says she was scammed out of hundreds of dollars after receiving a phone call from criminals claiming to be the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.
Sandra Blackie says she received a call from criminals posing to be from the Sheriff’s department, saying she missed jury duty and that there was a warrant out for her arrest. Then, they told her to pay a fine, but it was all a scam.
“The second thing they said to me was, ‘Well, you can do nothing and we’ll just come arrest you’ and me thinking it was real, I felt scared. And then the third was you can pay a $900 amount and we’ll give you the guidelines as to how to do that with COVID and everything, we’re a little bit limited so it’s a special way to pay,” Blackie said.
The victim was then told to send the money through a Bitcoin ATM machine inside a laundromat off Linda Vista Road in Mission Valley.
Officers warn the public if ever directed to send authorities money through a Bitcoin machine to stop what you’re doing, because you’re being scammed.
“I’m out $1,800,” Blackie said.
Blackie realized she was scammed but now says she’s struggling to reach an officer to even file a police report.
“I waited around on May 4th, 5th and 6th for five hours after calling the non-emergency line, waiting for a police man to show up so that I can make a report,” Blackie said.
The San Diego Police Department says they are looking into the incident. Meanwhile, the Sheriff’s department says no employee of theirs will ever contact you by telephone to demand money.
“At 65, with this happening, I feel vulnerable,” Blackie said.
FOX 5 also reached out to the Bitcoin ATM company, Coin Flip. They released a statement saying in part:
“CoinFlip takes matters of security and anti-money laundering (AML) incredibly seriously…We encourage anyone who suspects to be a victim of a scam to call our 24/7 award winning customer service team directly so that we can escalate the matter…”