Scam Alert – “Police Call”
Recently, scammers called a Eugene couple and stated they were with the Eugene Police Department and needed to speak with them about a legal matter. The person calling identified themselves as an EPD sergeant by name. No case number was provided. Thankfully the savvy couple did not fall for this scam. The scam has actually been around for a while and crops back up like a weed in our community. It is called the “Police Call” scam. Often victims are told they are required to pay money to avoid criminal charges. They use the names of retired and current EPD officers and command staff, often calling from a spoofed number that looks like it’s coming from the police department including starting with ‘541.682’ and getting victims to pay through Apple Pay and Zelle. Victims could also be asked to pay through other means, such as cryptocurrency or gift cards.
Police caution the public to not fall for the “police call” scam. This is where an unknown suspect or suspects calls a victim’s cell phone or home phone, identifies themselves as police or an EPD officer (by name of a real officer working for EPD) and communicates with you about an issue, trying to scam you into parting with money, usually to avoid being arrested or having criminal charges.
This is a variation on other scams where victims report being called by the IRS, police or government agency, with the scammer demanding payment over the phone or face a warrant for arrest. These scams have at times had second calls that show the caller's ID as '911' or a police number, but these are spoof calls.
Eugene Police would like to remind the public that EPD or any other government agency would never call someone and demand payment immediately, and do not call and advise people they have a warrant for their arrest.
There are so many scams out there. Many scams try to alarm you or scare you. Others just prey on your situation. A list of scams is provided on EPD’s website (http://www.eugene-or.gov/DocumentCenter/View/11128). This document covers some of the most common scams we’ve seen in our area, but new ones are popping-up all the time. It is easy to get taken in, even if you are usually suspicious of scams.
If you receive a phone call and recognize that the call is a scam, please hang up immediately and report the information to www.ic3.gov
If you are the victim of a scam and have incurred a loss, please call the EPD non-emergency at 541.682.5111.
These cases provide an opportunity for a reminder on how to avoid becoming the victim of fraud. Scams are cyclical in nature. Eugene Police recommend to remain careful and skeptical of callers:
•If someone asks you for your cash, gift cards, credit card numbers, security log-ins, or other personal information (especially if you don’t know them well), the safest move is to refuse their request and check with the police, or find an independent way to contact a legitimate business and follow up rather than responding right away to the caller.
•Don’t give out computer or phone log-ins, personal or financial information to someone who calls you. If you are unsure, hang up and independently find the phone number of the alleged represented agency and call yourself. A law enforcement agency will not ask you for this type of information or request that money be sent by way of money order for any reason.
•Beware of high pressure techniques, such as the need to give information or make a decision on the spot.
•If it sounds quirky or weird, it probably is.