Phone scammers intent on bilking El Dorado County residents of their money are falsely identifying themselves as the FBI or the sheriff.
Telephone scams are not new. The El Dorado County Sheriff's Department investigates hundreds of phone and e-mail scams each year.
Recently, however, the department noticed a new wrinkle in scamming: A caller said he was an agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
He called a person to say that he had discovered a prize never awarded to the El Dorado County resident. The scammer asked for money to be sent to him.
In an effort to convince the resident, the scammer had another person call to say that he was John D'Agostini, the sheriff of El Dorado County.
According to a sheriff's department's press release, scammers can make the number that appears on the resident's caller ID be any number they want, including that of the FBI.
Law enforcement will not call asking for money, according to the sheriff's department.
"Before giving any financial or personal information you should be positive the people receiving the information are who they say they are," the press release stated. "If you are unsure, you can always hang up and call the person yourself at a number you know is a real phone number belonging to the financial institution or law enforcement agency."