Weld Sheriff’s Office warns about warrant scammers

Published on April 28, 2022

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The Weld County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents about scammers posing as deputies and claiming potential victims have an active warrant for their arrest.

On Saturday, a Greeley resident received a call from (970) 356-4015, which is the number of the Weld County Sheriff’s Office’s main switchboard. The caller claimed he was Sgt. Andrew Cole and said the Greeley resident had a warrant for their arrest for missing a court date.

The caller provided the resident with a fake badge number and said he wanted to meet the resident at the Weld County Sheriff’s Office for “signature analysis.” The resident was skeptical and asked for another way to confirm the caller’s claims. The caller provided another number, (970) 329-7101, and said Sgt. Michael Knee would corroborate the story.

The resident called the second number, which went straight to voicemail. The number immediately called back, and a second person tried to claim the resident had a warrant. Still skeptical, the resident then decided to call the main number back and was routed to dispatch, confirming the previous calls were a scam.

Investigators think the scammers are using burner phones and an app to disguise their real phone number. They likely decided to fake the sheriff’s office’s main number to make their scam seem more legitimate. They went a step further by also locating the names of two current employees, though Michael Knee is a lieutenant, not a sergeant.

Audio was obtained of the suspect from another resident who reported a similar incident.

The Weld County Sheriff’s Office would like to offer the following tips should you receive a call from a scammer.

  • First and foremost, it would be highly unusual for any member of the Weld County Sheriff’s Office to call a member of the public about a warrant, especially one for failing to appear in court.
  • The sheriff’s office doesn’t perform “signature analysis” for any reason.
  • Never give personal information to anyone over the phone.
  • If you think you are on the phone with a scammer, hang up and call the business, agency or organization’s number back to verify the caller’s information.

Anyone with information regarding this or any other crime is asked to call the Weld County Sheriff’s Office at (970) 356-4015 or Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Tips can also be submitted through the Crime Stoppers website at www.NoCoCrimeStoppers.com. Those submitting tips through Crime Stoppers that lead to the arrest and filing of charges on a suspect(s) may be eligible for a cash reward.