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BEAVERTON, Ore. -- A new scam is sweeping the area. It starts when you get a call with someone saying it's the police, and that if you don't pay up, the scammer says you could be going to jail.

The crook told one victim she failed to appear for jury duty and owed money. The woman called the sheriff's office and then KGW.

So, we called the scammer.

Barbara Ryan is still shaken after the call she got Friday. The man claimed he was from the Washington County Sheriff's Office and had some serious news.

You have a bench warrant out for you. You could be arrested. You could have an officer come to your door an arrest you, Ryan said the scammer told her.

The crook said Ryan needed to buy a prepaid credit card for almost $500 and send him the number and everything would be fine.

Barbara, however, didn t fall for it.

We don't do that. That's not how we do business, Det. Sgt. David Marzilli told KGW Friday.

Marzilli said if you have any question about a call claiming to be from police, dial the non-emergency number for whatever agency the bad guys say they're from. They can verify that someone is trying to scam you.

If it's a warrant or something more serious like that, most of the time we'll either contact you, that way through the court system, or other legal means that you have a warrant for your arrest, he said.

KGW then called the Beaverton number the scammer gave Ryan.

Sheriff's department, how may I direct your call?... OK I hear the people in the background so you get your paperwork together and call me back, a voice on the other end of the line said.

Why are you scamming people and telling them they have a warrant out for their arrest? KGW s Katherine Cook asked the mystery person posing as the police.

I think you have the wrong number... the voice responded before hanging up.

I know I'm not the only one he's done this to. That s what's scary, Ryan said.

Police say make sure you look up their non-emergency line.

Crooks often give a second number, so you can verify who they are. In reality, you're just talking to more crooks.

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