WHATCOM — County Sheriff Bill Elfo has issued a “scam alert” that criminals impersonating actual members of the Sheriff’s Office are contacting citizens and demanding money to avoid jail for missing jury duty or other fabricated reasons.

“Unsuspecting victims are subsequently told to transfer funds by various means that are difficult to detect or trace,” Elfo said.

He clarifies that no member of the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office will request, demand or solicit funds. Perpetrators often operate from outside the United States.

The Sheriff’s Office has issued press releases and other public communications before about scams like. Nonetheless, people seem to still fall victim, Elfo said. “Please be aware and help us spread the word.”