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ASK A COP: Don't fall prey to scam calls

ASK A COP: Don't fall prey to scam calls

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Each week, Scottsbluff Police Cpl. Krisa Brass will answer questions submitted by Star-Herald readers. Send questions for consideration to youasked@starherald.com or by leaving your question at 308-632-9057.

Q. I was relaxing today and an unknown number called me and told me I had a legal case against me. If I don’t call that number back then they will put an arrest warrant against me. The person on the phone sounded robotic, too. I’m just 17 and have never in any kind of trouble in my life, so I don’t know what is happening.

A. Unfortunately, this type of situation has become a pretty common occurrence and for as many times as we have tried to urge the public not to fall for this scam, it happens time and time again.

Generally, these scammers will ask you to send money orders, gift cards, etc. to them to “fulfill” the warrant.

If you do not have any pending criminal proceedings and haven’t done anything illegal, there should be no need to worry about a pending arrest warrant anyway. Now if there was something you could potentially have a warrant for, an officer would not call you and ask for you to send gift cards, money orders, etc to make the warrant go away.

Hypothetically, if someone was curious as to whether or not they had an active arrest warrant, they could call the communications center and ask.

There are a few other scam calls that we have seen another influx of. One of those being a person identifying themselves as law enforcement and claiming to have the persons child or grandchild in custody and needing money to be sent for their bail.

I promise you, a corrections officer is not going to call someone’s family member and ask for your personal information, money order, gift card, etc. over the phone to get said person out of jail. Often times, these individuals do have some information about the family member which makes victims believe they truly have the person in custody. Be mindful of how easy it is to obtain information about someone in the social media driven world we live in.

Another example is a fake job posting on garage sale sites. The most recent one was for a data entry clerk and the person who posted it wanted to conduct the interview via Facebook messenger and pretty immediately wanted the person’s bank account information. They sent a counterfeit check for the person to deposit and then asked the person to purchase gift cards with the money and then photograph the codes. You may be reading this and wondering how people fall prey to the above mentioned scams, but it happens all the time.

What it really comes down to is not providing personal information and knowing ways to verify information being presented to you. If you receive a call that you find suspicious, you can always contact law enforcement. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

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