The Salem Police Department was contacted recently about a new take on an old phone scam.
Victims are receiving calls from what their phone’s caller identification displays as the Salem Police Department’s non-emergency number, 503-588-6123. Upon answering the call, the scammer identifies themselves as a sergeant with the Salem Police Department and informs the victim that they have an arrest warrant. If the victim lets the call go to voicemail, the scammer leaves a message with the fake story, and asks the victim to return the call to a different cell phone number. The scammer then tries to convince the victim that if they pay a fine directly to them, the victim won’t be arrested.
In these scams, we know that our non-emergency phone number is being spoofed, which makes the scam harder for victims to recognize. We want people to know that when we are looking for suspects we typically do it in person. And, if we are calling about a case, our non-emergency number is not the number that will be used.
The best thing to do for any scam attempt is to hang-up, especially if in this situation you have not had recent contact with the Salem Police Department. If you are expecting a call from law enforcement, simply initiate your own call to the police department. You can also report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC tracks government imposter scams.
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