Same SCAM with a Different Twist – Law Enforcement will NOT call and Threaten Your Arrest Demanding Payment
It’s a SCAM!
The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office continues to receive reports of scammers trying to lie, intimidate, trick, and threaten people into giving up their hard-earned money or personal information, leaving them vulnerable to identity theft.
Unfortunately, Scammers continue to change their stories and methods ever so slightly as they look to terrify victims and steal their money.
Recently, a victim (70s) called to report that these predatory scammers tricked her, and that she lost $5,600. They used the same scare tactics to petrify the victim, telling her they were with the US Border Patrol and she had warrants out of Texas for money laundering.
The scammer continued telling her that she had to prove she was not involved in money laundering, and she must send them funds via Bitcoin, which would be refunded to her the following day by a US Marshal. The victim, highly confused and frightened by the convincing thief, said she was transferred to multiple people during the scam call, and they worked to steal her money.
These calls continue to spread havoc and fear, causing confusion and disrupting potential victims from stopping to take a minute to think about what is really happening. Before you think, “That’s not going to happen to me.” or “I wouldn’t fall for that.” ask yourself, why do these scammers continue their predatory criminal acts if they don’t find victims? They are convincing, and unfortunately, they continue to victimize people in our community.
Law Enforcement will NEVER call you, threaten your arrest, and demand immediate payment. So please, take a minute and independently verify the information you’re being told. Call family, friends, or call law enforcement but always take the time. Do not use the phone numbers they provide you, and know that law enforcement agencies or businesses will not do anything like this. Assume these calls are scams, verify the information, and keep your money.
Also, take some time to talk to your family, friends, neighbors, clubs, church groups, and everyone else you know about these scams. It may save someone you know from being the next victim.
Since it is tax season, we want to also remind you about tax scams.
From the IRS Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts webpage (https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-scams-consumer-alerts), “Thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams. Scammers use the regular mail, telephone, or email to set up individuals, businesses, payroll, and tax professionals.
The IRS doesn't initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. Recognize the telltale signs of a scam. See also: How to know it’s really the IRS calling or knocking on your door.”
For more information about protecting your privacy, identity and online security, including how to report phishing emails to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), along with other scams and consumer information, go to the FTC website https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/ or the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at https://www.ic3.gov/.