Recently, the Oregon State Police has taken reports from people who have received scam calls by people posing as law enforcement officers on the telephone.
Scammers have called and claimed to be members of a police department or sheriff’s department and that the victim missed jury duty, had outstanding fines, or a warrant for their arrest that could be taken care of over the phone with a payment. Callers may instruct the victims to purchase re-loadable cards and call them back with the numbers. Similar scams have been reported in the past year where callers claim to be with a utility or other government agency
The Oregon State Police reminds you to be aware that:
* The Oregon State Police or any other legitimate law enforcement agency does not call community members seeking payment for outstanding traffic citations or warrants.
* The Oregon State Police does not call individuals and demand money from community members under any circumstances.
* Individuals claiming to collect debts may try to instill fear in potential victims to persuade them to forward money.
Tips to help avoid becoming a victim to this scam include:
* Never give personal or financial information to an unsolicited caller or email.
* Be suspicious of callers who demand immediate payment for any reason.
* Utility companies and government agencies will never contact you for payment by GreenDot, MoneyPak or Vanilla Reload.
* Remember that anyone who has the number on a prepaid card has access to the funds on your card.
* Never wire money, provide debit or credit card numbers to a stranger.
The Oregon Judicial Department (OJD) advises that courts may use an independent collection service to collect unpaid monetary judgments and fines. If someone believes they are being scammed regarding an alleged unpaid traffic citation or other court-imposed financial obligation they can:
* Ask the collector (caller) for information specific to the alleged warrant or unpaid traffic citation. The caller should have the court case number, date of ticket and vehicle license number.
* Verify the debt or confirm other details by calling the OJD collections hot-line at 1-888-564-2828.
* Use OJD Courts ePay to directly pay money owed to state courts for most traffic citations, civil fees or criminal fines (For more information go tohttp://www.courts.oregon.gov/OJD/OnlineServices/ePay/Pages/index.aspx.
If you receive a similar call, disconnect without providing any information or taking any instructions from the caller. Contact your local law enforcement agency. You may also file a complaint with the Oregon Department of Justice Consumer Protection Office via the Consumer Hotline at 1-877-877-9392 from8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or complete an on-line Consumer Complaint Form anytime at http://www.doj.state.or.us/consumer/Pages/complaint.aspx
Re-published by permission from and in cooperation with the Portland Police Bureau www.portlandoregon.gov/police