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Friday, May 23, 2014

BREAKING: FTPD Warns of New Phone Scam

The FTPD has issued a warning about a current telephone scam being attempted in the area.

The scam consists of an individual claiming to work for the "U.S. Department of Formal Review" -- or some other vaguely named agency -- and citing facts, usually publicly available, to convince the victim of their legitimacy.

The caller will then inform the victim they owe a fine and must pay immediately over the phone in order to avoid arrest and property seizure.

If you receive a call like this, hang up. It's a scam.

Here is the FTPD warning, in full:

The Fort Thomas Police would like everyone to stay alert about a current telephone scam that is being attempted on some people in our area, especially senior citizens.  This is a common scam and is not new, just a different tactic.  We would like to just remind people to stay sharp and spread the word to help others not fall victim.
If you receive a call from someone stating they are with the U.S. Department of Formal Review (or any other questionable organization name), odds are very high that it is a scam.  Recipients of these calls usually do not have Caller ID protection on their telephone number.  The caller will bombard the victim with very vague facts that they may have been able to acquire via various open records systems in the U.S.   They often have just enough to make the recipient believe the call could be real. 
The supposed agents are usually not very clear as to why you must pay them a fine, but will threaten arrest and property seizure within hours of the call if you do not act immediately.   The supposed agent will usually request that the money you owe be sent to them via a wire service such as Western Union. 
These particular scammers are using what is called the "Magic Jack" device which is an Internet based telephone tool that allows people to have cheap telephone service via the Internet.  If you call the number back via blocking your Caller I.D. utilizing *67 before dialing, you will get a recorded message from the Magic Jack system telling you that you must provide a Caller I.D. to reach the Magic Jack customer you are trying to reach.  These devices are wonderful if utilized properly, but in the hands of a criminal, they are almost impossible to track or find. 
First and foremost, never trust any call from anyone that says you must send them money to resolve any sort of issue or to receive more money in return.  In this situation, the callers have foreign accents and are hard to understand.  Questioning their authority will usually result in them becoming agitated and threatening.  Your best move is to hang up as soon as you become leery of anything that seems suspicious.  NEVER send any such caller money via any means!   This is not how government agencies collect fines or money due.

Do you receive FTPD e-lerts? Email and request to receive emergency e-lerts.

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