CHARLOTTE (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Police are warning of an alarming scam resurfacing in the Queen City. The suspect is accused of stealing thousands of dollars by pretending to be law enforcement.
Like many modern scams, this one starts out with a phone call.
CMPD Det. Rick Smith said the suspect is telling victims there is a warrant out for their arrest after missing a court date for jury duty.
“To our law-abiding citizens this is harsh language, so they rush out and they try to get this money together to give these guys,” Det. Smith explained.
He said the fear of jail time has prompted several victims to meet the suspect in person and hand over anywhere between hundreds of dollars to upwards of $8,000.
“Fear is the number of tactics that criminals use,” AARP Fraud Expert Amy Nofziger said.
She said once criminals get their victims into a fear-mentality, they can pretty much get them to do anything.
“So, if someone calls you, puts you on under fear and you feel it. You maybe feel your palms sweaty maybe your heartbeat is racing, stop and say I am going to do my research and I will figure out if this is the truth,” Nofziger said.
Det. Smith said the scam is filled with red flags, from the outfit worn by the suspect, the initial phone call, and the meet-up.
“Law enforcement, they are not going to ask you for any type of money, to begin with. We are not going to ask you for any kind of cash, check, or to put money on a card, to transfer money, or use any type of app, whether that be the old-school western union or some of these newer apps, CashApp, Zelle or whatever they have out there. We are just not going to do that,” Det. Smith said.
Law enforcement said if you receive a scam phone call, do not engage, and report it immediately.
CMPD Crime Stoppers has posted a cash reward for anyone who can identify the suspect.