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CROWN POINT — The Lake County Sheriff’s Department has received several reports of a telephone scam in which a person impersonating a sheriff’s officer is attempting to collect money.

The latest scam is reaching Lake County residents' phone lines through calls that have reportedly been “spoofed,” which is when the actual originating caller ID number is disguised with another number.

In this case, the call appears to be coming from a "Lieutenant Michaels" with the Lake County Sheriff's Department, according to a department news release.

The call is displayed as coming from 219-755-3400, but the the scammer asks the victim to return his call at 219-261-5763. 

The scammer usually tells the would-be victim that they "either have a warrant or civil papers that need to be served," Lake County Sheriff's spokesman Emiliano Perez said. 

"And then (the male scammer) attempts to convince them to make payments over the phone or provide identifying information such as a social security number," Perez said. 

In another instance, the male tried to find out when the person would be home to purportedly receive civil papers.

More than likely, the scammer "wanted to know when they would not be home — possibly to commit a burglary or other crime," Perez said. 

If contacted by someone claiming to be from the sheriff's department, ask for their identity and contact the Lake County Sheriff's Department to verify. 

The sheriff's department will never ask you to make a payment over the phone or provide sensitive, identifying information. 

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Northlake County Reporter

Lauren covers North Lake County government, breaking news, crime and environmental issues for The Times. She previously worked at The Herald-News in Joliet. She holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting.