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BEWARE: 'Warrant For Your Arrest' Phone Scams Increasing

Phone scammers most often target the elderly.
Phone scammers most often target the elderly. Photo Credit: CLIFFVIEW PILOT file photo

If a caller tells you there’s a warrant for your arrest and that you can make it go away by sending money somewhere, be sure that you don't.

A Garfield man recently got such a call.

His caller ID showed the name and main number for the Garfield Police Department, authorities said. So he picked up.

On the other end was a scammer who had “spoofed” the department’s main number, Capt. Richard Uram said.

“Spoofing technology allows a scammer to have a local phone number appear on a caller ID even if they are calling from a different state or country,” Uram said. “[It] makes you think you are connected to a legitimate department of government.”

Claiming to be with “U.S. Legal Support," the female caller told the victim that he’d been sued and that he had to pay to stop a warrant for his arrest by calling a certain number.

The caller then told the victim to call Garfield police after he made the payment to cancel the warrant.

Fortunately, the man didn’t lose any money.

“The person who called him supplied a phone number and a reference number and didn’t specify how much he allegedly had to pay,” Uram said. “When he called the number someone answered who had no idea what he was talking about. That’s when he reported it to us.”

NEVER act on a phone call that tells you that you will be arrested and demands money to keep that from happening.

Call local police instead, Uram said.

No public agency – including law enforcement – would ask you over the phone to send money for any reason, he emphasized.

“Most of the time these are skilled people that commit these types of crimes,” the captain said. “They play on fear and want to pressure you to act immediately.

“Never send anything of value such as cash, checks, gift cards, etc. and never give any of your personal information to an individual who is pressuring you to act quickly for any reason,” he said.

While you’re at it, tell any elderly relatives or friends to be careful, too.


ALSO SEE: Federal prosecutors throughout the U.S. have teamed up to charge more than 400 people in scams that have recently cost America’s senior citizens more than a billion dollars.


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