Arrest Scams

If you get a call, text or email telling you that you’re about to be arrested, it’s a scam.

Arrest scams can be scary. Some scammers spoof caller IDs to say "FBI," or they claim to be Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s deputies. They may make up elaborate stories about why you face arrest – for example, they may say you missed jury duty or claim your Social Security number was used in a crime.

Real law officers NEVER tell people they're about to arrest them. They never demand people stay on the phone with them. And they never tell people they can pay to avoid an arrest.

Only imposter scammers try to panic people and then demand money.

Protect yourself from arrest scams:

  • Hang up immediately on anyone who claims to be an officer and threatens you with arrest.
  • Do not try to "verify" information by dialing the number provided to you during a suspicious call. It goes back to scammers.
  • Do not try an internet search to verify a caller is an officer. Scammers lie and use real officer names.
  • Do not leave your home or workplace on a caller's instructions. This is a ruse meant to pull you further into the scam and convince you to pay.
  • Do not stay connected by cell to anyone who threatens you. Real officers NEVER tell people they will be arrested if they disconnect a call.
  • If an arrest call scares you, call the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department at 216-443-6000 or contact your local police. Police are familiar with these scams.


Report suspicious calls and emails:

Scam Squad at 216-443-SCAM (7226) or using our online form.

Report Online