Beware calls from impersonating judge, officer

SUBLETTE COUNTY – A local woman received a phone call on Sunday afternoon, Jan. 16, from Sgt. Travis Bingham, advising her of a court subpoena “and (she) was in contempt of court for not coming to be an expert witness.”

He gave a badge number of 4997-ZZ, according to the SCSO report.

About 15 minutes later, another citizen had a similar call from Sgt. Travis Bingham that Judge M. “Taylor” issued a subpoena and “seemed to know a lot” about the family. The caller’s number showed up as 307-298-1540 from Douglas.

The impersonator apparently did not get around to ask for money, according to the real Sgt. Travis Bingham, who in real life is the sheriff’s office public information officer.

“Totally not legit and totally not me,” he told the Examiner last week.

When he heard of the phony calls, he posted a notice about “an interesting scam alert” on social media Sunday night.

“The male caller impersonated our public information officer Travis Bingham. The caller told the citizen he was given a subpoena to be an expert witness and was in contempt of court through our local district judge for failing to appear,” Bingham posted. “The impersonator also did not pronounce our judge’s name or Pinedale correctly.”

The real Sgt. Bingham said the sheriff’s office would never call citizens about contempt of court dates.

These scams are growing more common, he added, “where scammers research a law enforcement agency online and attempt to scare residents into scams.”

Bingham even called the number and spoke to a man with an accent who “didn’t have nice things to say about me when I confronted him.”

The recorded voicemail identified the man as “Sgt. Bingham.”

Any legitimate SCSO calls would be from Pinedale or Marbleton office numbers. If unsure of the caller’s identification, call Sublette County Sheriff’s Office at 307-367-4378 to check, Bingham advised.