Eugene Police recently received a call from a man and his twin in another state who have received two calls from someone claiming to be from the Eugene Police Department advising that they have warrants for both their arrest and that they need to return the call immediately to ‘get this taken care of.’ This is not a practice EPD would use for a warrant.
There was another reported scam from a UO student within the last week, who sent $1,000 to “the IRS” using a pre-paid money card. He was told his bank account would be frozen and he would be arrested if he didn’t pay.
This trend is not new, in 2011, Eugene Police Fraud Unit received several calls about a resurfacing scam claiming the potential victim is the winner of a large prize. The perpetrator posing as an law enforcement officer would state the potential victim had won a large sum of money and in order to claim the winnings had to send “security” money.
The Eugene Police Department would like to remind people to follow their instincts and never feel embarrassed about confirming the identity of a caller. This can be accomplished by contacting the represented agency directly via a published contact phone number and asking to speak with the individual directly or confirm the information with the agency’s non-emergency phone number. EPD’s non-emergency number is 541.682.5111. To report a scam, you can also call the EPD crime tip number at 541.682.8888.
These cases provide an opportunity for a reminder on how to avoid becoming the victim of fraud. Scams are cyclical in nature. With this particular scam, Eugene Police recommend to be careful and skeptical of callers:
• Don’t give out 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.