(WKBN)- Scammers have figured out a new way to trick people out of money, by using law enforcement.
Police just west of Mahoning County say they’re seeing more of these types of scams going around and are warning people to be careful. Here’s how it works.
The scammer will send a notice to tell the person they owe money on a bill. If they don’t pay the amount of money, a warrant will be issued for their arrest. This is where things change.
The scammer will then call police and ask for a welfare check on their family so officers get dispatched to their home. Normally when the victim sees officers arrive, they assume the warrant is real. Police say they’re targeting the elderly, most recently an 80 year-old woman.
“The scammer posed as a relative and said I need a welfare check, but that’s just not how we do business,” said Johnnie Slayton of Mogadore Police Department.
Police were able to talk to her and she didn’t lose any money, but say that’s not how it always goes. Officer Slayton wants to remind people that police don’t normally issue warrants for late bills and would never call someone to demand money to dismiss a real warrant.
He says there are some things you can do if you think you may have been a victim of a scam.
They recommend looking up the number yourself and call your local police department if you think you may have been a victim of a scam. Police say they don’t take these things lightly and try and go after scammers best they can.
“Sometimes it’s out of state and we can’t do anything with it, but do our very best to make sure we can try to recover something or catch who’s doing it,” Slayton said.
They are also asking people to let their friends and family, especially those who are elderly, know to call their local police department before paying anyone any money.
The Better Business Bureau is also warning of another scam as people have been reporting receiving text messages from different banks saying their debit cards were frozen. The BBB says not to click anything. Instead, call the number on the back of the card to verify if it’s legitimate.
The BBB says it’s important to be aware of possible scams but especially around the holidays.