Public being warned of phony arrest phone scam

New Albany police are warning the public about a telephone scam that has been reported in the area starting this past week.

“Tuesday, we got a report from an elderly lady who received a call saying she had two warrants for her arrest,” Chief Chris Robertson said. “They told her the only way to settle it was to get a money card and send it (the identifying number) to them.”

The woman did not fall for the scheme and reported it to police instead, but Robertson said another victim was reported being called out in the county as well and some people may be taken in by the criminals.

“Unlike most scams, that may be in Nigeria or somewhere, this one may be closer to home,” the chief said. That’s partly because the callers did have some personal information about the victim that made the call sound more legitimate. Then also means victims are being targeted to a degree rather than being the result of random calls.

Some criminals attempting similar scams have been able to make fake information show up on caller IDs so the call appears to really come from a law enforcement agency. A scam like this was reported in Lee County earlier with calls appearing to come from legitimate agencies.

“Law enforcement would never call or contact you and ask for a money card,” Robertson said. If there actually is a warrant issued for someone’s arrest, that person would be picked up, have to get out on bond and pay a fine, not be asked for money over the phone.

“If somebody does call and you want to be sure, call the police department and ask for the chief or talk with somebody in the office to verify,” he said.