Well it looks like the old fake debt collector scam has now branched out with a new twist. Under the old version the fake collectors posed as law enforcement and similarly elicited money to keep people allegedly out of jail.
This time the scammers, who are often calling from outside of the country, are spoofing local law enforcement. Don’t fall for it.
The Cary Police Department, Raleigh Police Department and Wake County Sheriff’s Office are alerting local residents to a telephone scam that victimizes the police agencies as well as targeted citizens. Over the course of the past few weeks a number of Wake County residents have been contacted by telephone by persons identifying themselves as a law enforcement officer and demanding money. The scam generally follows this pattern:
A person will receive a telephone call from a number that may appear on the Caller I.D. as “911,” “Cary PD,” “Raleigh PD,” “Warrants” or some other false identification.
The person making the call will identify himself or herself, usually with a rank and name, such as “Lieutenant Harris with the Warrant Squad.”
That person will state that you have an outstanding warrant, or that you failed to appear in court, failed to appear for jury duty, were photographed running a red light, or any number of other violations of law. He or she will then say that if you want to avoid being arrested, you must go to a nearby retail outlet such as Walmart, or Walgreens and purchase a money order for a specific amount, usually several hundred dollars. Once you have purchased the money order you are to call them back and give them its number and other information so they can process “the warrant” and avoid arresting you.
Legitimate 911 Communications Center, and actual law enforcement officials do not request funds in order to avoid arrest. Citizens need to know that honest organizations aren’t likely to call and request personal information like social security numbers and bank accounts over the phone.
To protect against phone fraud, citizens should remember the following:
- Never respond to an offer you don’t understand thoroughly.
- Always take your time making a decision; legitimate groups won’t pressure you to make a snap decision.
- Always ask for and wait until you receive written materials about any offer or charity.
- Be aware that any personal or financial information you provide may be sold to other groups.
- If a caller claims to be a police officer have him or her specifically identify the agency for which he or she works. Ask for their supervisor’s name and then confirm that information by contacting the identified agency or simply calling 9-1-1.
- If you receive a telephone call that makes you uncomfortable immediately hang up. Report the incident to the appropriate police agency or the State Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at
1-877-5-NO-SCAM or at www.ncdoj.gov.