By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
No one wants to go to jail. To avoid incarceration, most of us are willing to pay a hefty fine. Con Men know this too. Beware of anyone phoning and claiming to be with law enforcement demanding payment to avoid arrest.
On Thursday, September 8, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange (R) warned that scammers are phoning Alabama residents claiming to be from the AG’s office and are demanding payments from people or law enforcement will arrest them.
AG Strange said in a statement, “My office has logged multiple complaints today from people across Alabama reporting they’ve received phone calls from the Attorney General’s Office Investigations Division threatening them with arrest if they don’t pay off an old debt or bad check.”
The scammers are so sophisticated that the caller ID will even read the same as the Attorney General’s Office in a technique called, “spoofing.” The swindlers pressure their victims to purchase pre-paid credit cards or other forms of payment to prevent being arrested.
AG Strange said, “Please know that any call you may receive from the Attorney General’s Office, or any law enforcement agency or court office for that matter, to collect money is a scam. Furthermore, debt collectors cannot arrest you. If, for any reason, law enforcement or the courts have an issue with you, you will usually be notified in writing and be ordered to contact the clerk’s office, either in person or by telephone.”
Strange said, “Persons should never assume phone calls and caller IDs which claim to be from law enforcement, the courts or the IRS, are genuine. You should always seek to verify them by first calling those agencies directly.”
Strange is urging citizens who receive these calls to report it immediately. “Impersonating a law enforcement officer and misrepresenting the judicial process to scam people out of money is a serious crime and I encourage anyone who receives such a call to report it to my office at 1-800-392-5658.”
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has frequently been used as a fake identity by these types of criminals. According to a consumer alert issued by the agency, these callers may demand money or may say you have a refund due and try to trick you into sharing private information.
These con artists typically alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling and use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers.
Then IRS reports that these telephone scams are being seen in every part of the country.