Registry phone scams: more collateral damage
May 17, 2019
How many times a day does your phone ring with an unknown number? Out of state, local number, even your own number, the many telemarketers, phone scams, and robocalls are on the rise these days, and everyone is getting them, but there is one in particular that is targeting registrants in Oklahoma, and we want you to be informed and prepared.
We may not know, as of yet, how these people are acquiring all the necessary information and connecting the dots, but we do know the Oklahoma registry is a free, ready-made victim list. It is their starting point, and we know they are prepared before they dial your number. They know your name. They know where you renew your registration or what law enforcement agency to impersonate. They know where you live, work, and what you drive. Let's face it. They are good at what they do. They will call and call until you answer your phone. They will sound just like what you would think law enforcement would sound like, but they are not, and they will be stern and forceful, determined to convince you that what is happening is real, but it is not.
There are many reasons, they may claim, for there being a warrant out for your arrest. They may say that you have failed to register in some way, that you are behind on paying fees, or that you failed to appear in court. No matter the reason they claim, the only real reason for calling you is to scam you out of your money. They will say you must post bond or pay fees in order to avoid arrest, and that you must submit payment to them while on the call. Do not comply with their demands. The best thing you can do is hang up the phone.
There are several ways to know it is a scam and not real:
- Law enforcement departments will not call about a warrant. You may receive a notice in the mail, but in most cases, they will knock on your door without notice.
- Law enforcement departments will also not call and solicit money from you. Regardless, with any money owed, it will never be required that you pay using prepaid gift cards or Google Play funds, and if anyone requests your credit/debit card information over the phone, it should immediately raise red flags.
- If you really owe anything or can pay to avoid arrest, a court summons will be issued and mailed to you, or you will receive some other form of official notification that you can verify.
One of the most effective ways to prevent these calls is to not answer the phone. If you do not recognize the number or it comes up as unknown, private, or a blocked caller ID, do not answer the call, but if you are in a position that requires you to answer, such as a company line, then know what to look for. When you can have the confidence of knowing it is a scam, hang up the call and report it to the authorities. These people are preying on your fear and utilizing free public arrest and registry information to target you, and we do not want you to be their next victim.
For a related story, also read the following from NARSOL:
Don’t Let the Scammers Scam YOU
May 3, 2019
It was a quiet Sunday afternoon in my hometown. I was making a bite to eat and watching the basketball game on TV before heading to my mom and dad’s house to eat like I do almost every Sunday evening when my cell phone rang. Normally, if it’s a number I am unfamiliar, with I do not answer, but today I did because I was expecting a call and the number calling was from my same area code. I answered and they asked for me by my full name. I hesitated and then asked who was calling. The caller said he was a Sargent Longo or something similar from the XXX Police Department and said he needed to speak with me and was glad he had reached me on the phone before something bad happened. I kinda chuckled and said I already know this is a scam and cut him off in mid-sentence. The man on the other end of the line kept a stern voice and said this is no laughing matter and that he had 2 warrants out for my arrest. As soon as he finished speaking, I told him if the police department had warrants for my arrest, I would already be in jail. The caller proceeded to say some other things, most of which I couldn’t hear because the connection was starting to break up. I looked at my phone and saw the number was actually from a town 50 miles away. I told the caller that he wasn’t even calling from the town where I lived, laughed, and hung up. I figured that was that and proceeded to watch the game on TV.