Tag Archives: law enforcement officials

Collection calls from ‘law enforcement’ are scams, officials say

Law-enforcement officials have issued a warning about a phone scam with someone masquerading as a police officer or deputy and demanding money.

Last weekend, a caller threatened a Laguna Hills man and told him SWAT officers would come to his home if he didn’t make a $4,000 payment, said Lt. Jeff Hallock of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

The calls are especially troublesome because the scammers use a program to make the caller ID appear as if the call is coming from the Orange County Sheriff Department’s Santa Ana office, Hallock said.

According to the Sheriff’s Department, law-enforcement officials do not solicit donations or collections over the phone.

Officials urged residents not to give personal information such as Social Security numbers and bank-account information over the phone.

The Laguna Hills man reported being contacted on his cellphone by someone who identified himself as Assistant Sheriff Mark Billings, Hallock said.

The caller said he was working with the IRS to collect a debt and instructed the resident to buy $4,000 in MoneyPak online cash cards, Hallock said. The caller is believed to have threatened to send the department’s SWAT team to collect if no payment was received.

On Oct. 29, another caller who identified himself as a member of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department called a Yorba Linda woman and tried to collect $365 for a traffic violation, officials said.

The caller told the woman to buy MoneyPak cards and provide the number over the phone to pay for the citation.

Officials ask that anyone receiving a similar phone call contact the Sheriff’s Department at 714-647-7000.



If you are charged with a crime, contact an experienced Orange County Bail Bondsman to assist you in any bail situation.


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7th L.A. school employee arrested on sex-related accusation

Corey HoganA seventh L.A. school employee has been arrested on sex-related accusations.

The latest case involves a teacher who has been arrested on suspicion of having sex with a 17-year-old female student, police said Tuesday.

There has been a flurry of arrests of Los Angeles-area schoolteachers and employees  in recent weeks. Officials said they believe the cases were a result of increased awareness following the high-profile arrest of teacher Mark Berndt atMiramonte Elementary School.

Berndt has been charged with photographing blindfolded and gagged students who were allegedly fed spoonfuls of his semen.

Last week, authorities announced the arrest of a Roosevelt High School Spanish teacher on suspicion of having sex with two teenage boys. Gabriela Cortez, 42, was arrested on suspicion of unlawful sexual intercourse.

Montebello police alleged that she had lengthy sexual relationships with the boys between 2008 and 2010. One of the teenagers, now 18, reported the teacher last week to police in Montebello, where she lives, said Chief Kevin McClure. After learning of the allegation, school officials immediately removed her from the classroom.

In the latest case, Corey Hogan, 32, the band director at George Washington Preparatory High School, was arrested after the student and her mother told police that the girl agreed to have sex with Hogan at his home, the Hawthorne Police Department said.

The sex allegedly took place during the football season after Hogan gave the girl and other students a ride home, police said in a statement.

FULL COVERAGE: Teacher sex-abuse investigations

After the other students were dropped off, the girl agreed to go to Hogan’s Hawthorne home, police said.

Hogan was arrested Monday at the high school.

Hogan was released Tuesday afternoon after posting $100,000 bail, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department online booking records.

Law enforcement officials stressed that they don’t believe that more abuse is occurring. Rather, the Miramonte episode has sparked some people to come forward and others to be more watchful, they say.

“As a community, people are coming together and are hyper-vigilant about any other perpetrators. Everything is now being reported,” Pia Escudero, who directs L.A. Unified’s mental health and crisis counseling services, told The Times last week.


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