SALEM, Ore. (Legal Newsline) - Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and the Oregon State Police issued a warning Wednesday about two police impersonation scams that recently surfaced in the state.
In one scam, known as the counterfeiting con, scammers call individuals at home claiming to be police officers looking into counterfeit money. The scammers ask the individuals to withdraw cash so they can inspect it. The fake officer then disappears with the cash. In the last few months, scammers posing as detectives conned two people out of more than $50,000.
In another scam, the unpaid traffic scam, scammers place pre-recorded phone calls posing as police officers telling individuals they owe $154 for unpaid traffic tickets. One citizen received a call from a restricted number stating a bench warrant had been issued for an unpaid speeding ticket issued on Interstate 205. The call gave instructions to get a Green Dot MoneyPak reloadable debit card and place $154 on the card. The message also instructed the individual to call a number with a 203 area code and provide the card number and security code to pay the citation and avoid legal action.
Green Dot MoneyPak cards and similar cash-load cards have been a part of multiple scams around the country. The cards have been used to defraud unsuspecting people as transactions involving the cards cannot be traced or reversed.
"People who impersonate a police officer not only commit a serious crime but also subvert people's trust in other, genuine police officers," Rosenblum said.
Oregon State Police and other legitimate law enforcement agencies do not call citizens seeking payment or to withdraw money for any other reason. Rosenblum said Oregonians can call her office or file a complaint if they believe they were contacted by one or more of the scam artists.