SCAM Warning - Tempe Police Issues Community Advisory
For Immediate Release - Lt. Scott Smith
SCAM WARNING: POLICE IMPERSONATORS TARGETING RESIDENTS OVER THE TELEPHONE
The Tempe Police Department wishes to alert members of our community of a recent and active fraud scheme appearing to target members of the elderly community.
As of this afternoon, at least six (6) incidents have been reported whereby unknown suspect(s) have called Tempe residents identifying themselves as representatives of the Tempe Police Department. The suspect(s) inform the victim that they have an active warrant for their arrest and/or that they missed jury duty and a fine was imposed. Suspect(s) are then telling the victim that payment must be made immediately, otherwise officers will be dispatched to arrest them.
Suspect(s) instruct victim(s) to obtain store bought pre-paid credit cards and call them back as soon as possible to provide the credit card information to pay the fine over the telephone. Further, it appears as though the suspect(s) have some personal information belonging to victim(s) before they call as they often refer to the victim(s) by name and provide other basic information during the calls – attempting to add to the credibility of the call to make it seem more “official.”
The Tempe Police Department wants to inform the public that police agencies do not operate in this manner and will not collect payments over the telephone. Should you or a family member receive a call such as the type described, please contact the Tempe Police Department at 480-350-8311 – or your local law enforcement agency - as soon as possible to report the incident.
Additionally, as various scare tactics – including the threat of embarrassment - are being used by the suspect(s), family members or guardians who assist others with finances should pay particular attention to any concerning victim behavior or unexplained bank account withdrawals; suspect(s) are believed to have told some victim(s) that if they fail to comply, their family and friends would be notified.Tempe Police detectives are actively investigating this matter and anyone with information is urged to call Tempe Police at 480-350-8311 or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS (948-6377).