Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

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December 17, 2013

Arrest threat could be a scam

The message on voicemail said a warrant would be issued for the listener’s arrest if he did not call back immediately. Unfortunately, the caller, who claimed he was a deputy from the Indiana State Police Warrant Division, didn’t realize that the person he called was an actual ISP detective, reported ISP Sgt. Trent Smith, Indianapolis.

“It seems as quickly as you hear about one scam, it disappears and another one starts.” The latest one that is circulating involves an individual claiming to be from a law enforcement agency. The scammer typically threatens to arrest the victim if he or she doesn’t pay the fines for some fabricated crime or debt. He added, “To make matters worse, the crooks often have some personal information about the victim, which make the call seem more legitimate.”

An ISP detective investigating the complaint turned the tables on the scammer and called him. The man claiming to work for the Indiana State Police didn’t answer so the detective left a message and the man called back. The scammer proceeded to tell the detective that he had a warrant for his arrest. He explained that in order to take care of it and avoid being arrested at work, the detective would need to buy two green dot money packs for $1,000 and then call him back with the account number. The conversation that lasted more than 30 minutes eventually ended after the scammer was fully convinced that he was talking to the police.

The investigation in this case is ongoing, but more than likely it will turn into a dead end, commented Smith. In this scam case, as with most of them, the calls are originating from cell phones all over the U.S. and tracking down the 21st century con artist is no easy task. Indiana State Police feel that a well-informed public is the best defense in combating scammers and remind everyone that an influx in this type of crime is often seen during the holiday season.

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