Scammers Threaten Arrest, Demand Money

As Mother Nature turns up the heat outside, scammers are turning up the heat on their schemes. After the end of tax season, many scam artists turn their focus to more threatening things. Michelle Reinen from the Department of Trade and Consumer Protection points to a scheme where callers pose as local authorities and threaten arrest if a payment is not made for an outstanding warrant. 

She says it sounds like a “local sheriff calls you and demands that…there’s a warrant out for
your arrest and you need to take care of that payment to clear that warrant by
wiring money and paying by gift card right there on the phone.”

Reinen adds that they scammers are getting smart, taking a look at who they are calling, “and that’s where they get very creative because they know where they’re
calling, so they can use legitimate names of different clerks of courts and
sheriff’s departments names and the counties. They’re a talented crew out there
those scam artists.”

Reinen says you probably don’t actually have a warrant because “that is not at all how our system works in this state or country. So if there was any kind of warrant, there would be service, there would be court processes, you’d have notification – but they don’t make a phone call.”

If you get a call from someone threatening anything and demanding immediate payment over the phone, you should just hang up and report it to police.