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  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 17, 2022 Permalink | Reply
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    Parents also targeted in arrest scam 

    Parents also targeted in arrest scam

    By Greg Collier

    There’s a scam we’ve covered many times before known as the grandparent scam. This is when scammers will pose as an elderly victim’s grandchild, while also claiming to be in legal trouble. The goal is to try to swindle money from the victim disguised as bail money or legal fees. Sometimes, the scammers will pose as law enforcement, bail bondsmen, or attorneys instead of a grandchild, but the scam remains mostly the same.

    Grandparent scam can be a misnomer, though. While the scam largely targets the elderly, some scammers will target any relative. Previously, we’ve seen scammers target aunts and uncles, but now, they’re going directly after parents.

    A woman in Alabama recently received a call from someone claiming to be her adult son. The son claimed to have been in a wreck. Then someone claiming to be a lawyer got on the call and said the son was being charged with felony DUI. The lawyer said that bond was being set at $120,000 and 12% of that would need to be paid to get her son out of jail. The lawyer then gave the woman a phone number to a bail bondsman who would collect the almost $15,000.

    The bail bondsman said she would have to give the money to the lawyer she spoke to, and he would forward the money electronically to the bail bondsman.

    It was then the woman realized that neither the son, the lawyer nor the bail bondsman told her where the wreck occurred. Sensing something was wrong, she used her work phone to call her son, who was ok and had not been in a wreck. The caller had hung up at this point.

    I imagine that some people are asking how she couldn’t recognize the voice of her own son. Scammers will often claim to have had their nose or mouth injured in the accident as to why they don’t sound normal.

    If you were to receive a call like this, it’s recommended you politely hang up to verify the story. Scammers will try to keep you on the line at all costs. Then contact the person who’s supposedly been arrested to make sure they’re ok. No one has ever been sentenced to extra time because their emergency contact wanted to verify their story. Once you determine your loved one is ok, it’s recommended that you contact your local police to let them know this scam is going around in your area.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 26, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: arrest warrant, , , ,   

    The most common scams are the worst 

    The most common scams are the worst

    By Greg Collier

    The most common scams are also the most profitable scams. The reason scammers keep committing these scams is that victims keep falling for them. As we research the news for the latest information about scams, there’s one scam we continually see on an almost daily basis. If we were asked, we’d probably say that the most common scam in this country is the jury duty scam.

    The scam is almost elegant in its simplicity. Many of us grew up being told that if we miss jury duty, you can be arrested. Scammers take that one kernel of truth and twist the reality around it to make their scam seem so plausible.

    For example, a woman from the Houston-area of Texas almost fell victim to one of these scams. She received a phone call that appeared to come from a local phone number. The man on the other line spoke with a Texas accent and claimed to be from the Sheriff’s Office. He informed the woman that she had missed jury duty. The caller gave the woman three options to rectify the matter. She could either go to the Sheriff’s Office and be held in custody for 8-10 hours, have a warrant issued for her arrest, or drive to a nearby address with $900 in cash.

    This scammer is good at what he does. His threats for not paying the cash are more of an inconvenience than life and death stakes, making the scam seem more believable. As well as only asking for $900, as that can appear to seem like a reasonable court cost to many. However, I think he overplayed his hand by asking the woman to go to an address with cash that I’m guessing wasn’t the Sheriff’s Office.

    While the woman admitted that the scam seemed very real, she did not fall victim to it. Her husband contacted a lawyer friend of his, who told them it was a scam.

    Our point is that just because a scam is common doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone has heard of it. We deal with this subject every day, so we know. You read our posts, so you know. But there are so many more people out there who don’t.

    The only thing the others are missing is just a small amount of knowledge to protect them from that scam. And that knowledge is police departments don’t call citizens to threaten them with arrest over jury duty. Everything concerning jury duty is typically done by the postal mail. That includes missing jury duty. So if you haven’t received anything in the mail about jury duty, you’re not on the verge of bring arrested.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 20, 2022 Permalink | Reply
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    The latest twist on the police impersonation scam 

    The latest twist on the police impersonation scam

    By Greg Collier

    Law enforcement officers and agents are arguably the people most imitated by scammers. Most people either have a certain respect for or a fear of the police. So, it seems almost an obvious choice for scammers to impersonate police to get their victims to do what they want.

    We’ve discussed many of these police impersonation scams before. The two most common police impersonation scams are the jury duty scam and the arrest warrant scam. Actually, they’re both the same scam. In the jury duty scam, the scammers will call their victims to tell them they’ve missed jury duty. The victims are then instructed to make a payment over the phone or a warrant will be issued for their arrest. In the arrest warrant scam, the scammers just say that there is a warrant out for the victim’s arrest, although a payment could make the warrant go away.

    When these scammers ask, or in some cases, demand payment, they usually ask the victim to pay through untraceable means. These usually include payment apps like Venmo and Zelle, prepaid debit cards like Green Dot, cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, and of course, gift cards.

    King City, on the Central Coast of California, has reported that scammers are posing as one of their detectives in a police impersonation scam. However, the scammer isn’t threatening their victims with arrest. In this case, the scammer says that they’re investigating a case where the victim’s identity has been stolen. The victim is then instructed by the phony detective to move all their money from the bank to a Bitcoin account to clear their identity. In reality, the money goes into the scammer’s Bitcoin wallet, and they make off with the victim’s money.

    This scam isn’t just limited to your local police department, either. In the past, we have seen scammers pose as the FBI, the DEA, Homeland Security, and Border Patrol just to name a few. However, you can protect yourself from this scam with just one important piece of knowledge. No law enforcement office or agency will ever demand payment for anything over the phone.

    If you ever receive one of these phone calls, try to give the caller as little information as possible and tell them you’ll call them back. Don’t let them keep you on the phone. Then call your local police department and inform them of the call.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 1, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: arrest warrant, , , ,   

    Your church isn’t calling to arrest you 

    Your church isn't calling to arrest you

    By Greg Collier

    One of the more common scams is the police impersonation scam. As you can probably guess, this is when scammers spoof the police’s phone number and try to convince you that there’s a warrant out for your arrest. The scammers will then pressure you into making a payment over the phone that they claim will make the warrant go away. Usually, they’ll ask for payment in nontraditional and untraceable means, like gift cards or cryptocurrency. It seems that people aren’t exactly picking up phone calls that purport to be from their local police department as much as they used to. Recently, scammers have changed one of their tactics to get their victims to answer the phone.

    In the Springfield area of Missouri, scammers have taken to spoofing the number of a local church to try to get their targets to answer the phone. Churches are no stranger to being used as part of a scam. Often, scammers will send out emails posing as a priest or pastor asking their congregation to buy them gift cards. However, in this instance, the scammers are still posing as police to threaten victims with arrest. While police are allowed to use a certain level of deception when conducting an investigation, It would be a huge PR nightmare for them if they posed as a church to make threatening phone calls.

    The arrest warrant scam at its heart preys on people’s lack of knowledge on how arrests actually work. No law enforcement agency is ever going to call you on the phone if you have a warrant out for your arrest. You might receive a notification in the mail, but more than likely you’ll be visited by the police in person. So, even if your church seems to be calling you, you can’t be arrested over the phone.

    We wonder how long it will be before scammers are able to spoof the numbers of your immediate family members. Once they can do that, almost no phone call will be able to be trusted.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 19, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: arrest warrant, , ,   

    Victim loses $170K in IRS scam 

    Victim loses $170K in IRS scam

    By Greg Collier

    With 2020 tax returns being so confusing to file due to the pandemic and a change in tax law this year, it seems like scammers are taking advantage of that confusion. Sadly, IRS scams are nothing new. If your identity has been stolen, scammers may try to file for a refund in your name before you do. They may even try to intercept your refund check or change your direct deposit to another bank account. Then there is the old classic of IRS scams, threatening to arrest you if you don’t pay.

    A woman from Dallas, Texas recently fell victim to this scam. A pair of men called her, posing as the IRS. These men told the woman that she had a warrant out for her arrest due to unpaid taxes. Once the woman paid the scammers $10,000, the scammers became even more greedy. More calls followed with more demands for money. The scammers overplayed their hand when one of the money deliveries did not reach the scammers. One of the scammers told the woman to file a police report to recover the undelivered payment. When she went to file the report, police told her that she had been scammed. Before it was all over, the woman paid the scammers $170,000. Police were only able to recover 10% of the $170,000.

    While it may seem intimidating to receive a phone call like this, no law enforcement or federal agency is going to threaten you with arrest over the phone. The vast majority of communication that comes from the IRS is done through postal mail. The IRS does accept payments in a myriad of ways, but they recommend doing so electronically through the IRS website. For other IRS scams, you can refer to the IRS’s Consumer Alerts page.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 7, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: arrest warrant, , , , ,   

    Arrest warrant scammers now showing up at people’s homes 

    Arrest warrant scammers now showing up at people's homes

    By Greg Collier

    One of the most common scams is the arrest warrant scam. A scammer will call a victim out of the blue claiming to be with the local police. The scammers will then tell the victim that there’s a warrant out for their arrest. Most of the time, the scammers will say it’s because the victim missed jury duty. This makes the thought of an arrest warrant more believable since missing jury duty is a pretty innocuous crime that most people could see happening to them. The victims are then instructed to make some kind of payment over the phone, usually by untraceable means like gift cards or money transfers. We want to stress that these scams were normally done over the phone because in at least one community a scammer has added a dangerous step to the scam.

    In Suffolk, Virginia, a man showed up at a woman’s doorstep asking for the woman’s son. The man said that he was with the Suffolk Sheriff’s Office and that her son had a warrant out for his arrest. The scammer identified himself as Lt. Johnson, however, the Suffolk Sheriff’s Office does not have a Lt. Johnson working for them. Thankfully, the woman did not open the door to the scammer, but the story doesn’t end there. The scammer called the son telling him there was a warrant for his arrest unless he made a $1500 payment in gift cards. In the family’s defense, none of them had ever been arrested before and didn’t know that this was not how arrest warrants work. Once payment was made the scammer even called them back to gloat. We can only imagine what would have happened if the woman had opened her door to the scammer.

    If there is a warrant out for someone’s arrest, police will approach the suspect’s home which makes this new version of the scam incredibly dangerous for the victim. However, typically, police will send at least two officers to execute an arrest warrant. Also, please keep in mind that no law enforcement agency whether local, state, or federal will ever ask for any kind of payment in gift cards.

    We believe scams like this continue to happen because there is not enough education about situations like this. Please consider sharing this post on social media so more people can be protected from this scam.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 3, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: arrest warrant, , , , utitlitiy company   

    Are these the top phone scams? 

    Are these the top phone scams?

    Residents of San Angelo, Texas have been reporting that there have been three particular phone scams plaguing them this year. While you may not be a resident of San Angelo if these scams are prevalent there then there’s a likely chance they’re prevalent in a lot of American towns.

    The first phone scam is someone calling you claiming to be from a local police department stating that you have a warrant out for your arrest for either failure to appear or missing jury duty. They’ll then try to pressure you into making some form of payment. When someone has a warrant issued for their arrest, police do not call them on the phone. Instead, they’ll take a more personal approach by sending officers to your door. If you receive one of these phone calls do not give out any personal information and call your local police department to report it.

    The second phone scam being reported is that of someone posing as a local utility company threatening to turn off power if payment is not made right away. If your account is in arrears you should receive several notices with your bill that the power could be turned off. The scammers may also try to pressure you into making a payment with either a gift card or pre-paid debit card. As usual, this should be a red flag that the call is more than likely a scam. If you receive a call like this one, once again hang up and call the number of the utility company that appears on your bill if you have any questions about your account.

    Lastly, is the most common phone scam that targets seniors and that’s the Social Security scam. In this scam, someone will call claiming to be from Social Security telling you that your benefits are about to be cut off or your Social Security account will be suspended because your Social Security number was used in a crime. These scammers are either looking for you to give them your Social Security number or will once again ask you to make a payment through gift cards. Social Security rarely calls recipients and will never ask for payment, especially not through gift cards. If you receive one of these calls hang up and call Social Security directly at 800-269-0271 during business hours.

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