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The original item was published from 11/2/2022 2:55:52 PM to 11/2/2022 3:18:48 PM.

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Posted on: November 2, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Scam Alert: Fake Warnings of Arrest Warrant

graphic of cell phone with text on screen that says "scam alert"

Bothell Police will never text you or call you to say that there's an arrest warrant in your name.  Never.  Ever.  Not under any circumstances, ever.  

 If you get a text with an arrest-warrant warning from us or any other law enforcement agency - it is a scam.  Delete the text.  Hang up the phone.  

This scam is just another variation of a very old trick:  Trying to scare people into handing over personal information or their hard-earned money.  Don't fall for it.   

The FBI warns that cybercriminals are also targeting victims by sending text messages with what appear to be bank fraud alerts.   The message asks if the customer initiated an instant-money transfer.  Once the victim responds to the alert, the cybercriminal then calls from a number which appears to match the financial institution's legitimate 1-800 support number. Under the pretext of reversing the fake money transfer, victims are swindled into sending payment to bank accounts under the control of the cyber actors. 

Here's what the text may look like: Text message says

Read more from the FBI about how this sophisticated scam proceeds, convincing many unsuspecting victims to share their banking and financial information with scammers.  

Scammers and fraudsters are always coming up with new ways to accomplish the same thing; stealing money from innocent victims.  

However, some types of phone scams never seem to go away.  Though not sophisticated, they're effective because they prey on a person's fear. 

Some scam-callers say they're with the local police department.  They often tell victims that the police department is aware of overdue fines, fees or citations and threaten arrest if a payment isn't made immediately, over the phone.  Amazingly,  some very convincing scammers even instruct victims to make the payments via gift cards.  Victims, of all ages and backgrounds, fall for these unscrupulous fraudsters every day.  

Please tell your family, friends and neighborsvideo play button graphic over photo of Bothell Police Dispatcher Robin Smith. Opens in new window:  Bothell Police will NEVER call you and demand payment for any reason, at any time.  Bothell Police will NEVER instruct you to purchase gift cards to expedite a payment of any kind.  Bothell Police will NEVER call you and ask for your financial information.  Share this reminder from Bothell Police Dispatchers.

If you get a call like this from anyone: Hang up, immediately.   If you get a voicemail or text message like this:  Delete it, right away.  

If you are ever in any doubt about a call from someone who claims to be with Bothell Police, hang up and call our non-emergency line: (425) 486-1254.  

Your best defense against fraud and phone scams is knowledge and awareness.  Share the information and links with friends, family and neighbors.  

Learn More: 

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