Heads Up – Phone Scam Alert – “there’s an arrest warrant out for you”

Photo by PoPville flickr user number7cloud

From this morning’s rant/revel:

“Heads up – I just got a phone call from a recording saying that there’s an arrest warrant out for me in Texas and to call this attorney. I’ve been in Dallas for work, so I called the DC police (because your natural reaction is OMG!) and it’s a total scam. Should have known because it was a recording, it never said where in TX and it never said the warrant was for. It rang in as 911, which I grabbed because I’ve never seen that number come up and didn’t know what was going on. Luckily, they’ve got nothing but my number. Unluckily, there’s no way to track these calls or to know who’s doing them.

The DCPD said they’ve gotten a ton of complaints about them so be careful out there folks.”

15 Comment

  • Can someone explain what they hope to get. I am afraid my imagination doesn’t expand that far.

    • OP here. The cops said they get

      • Cops said they get you to call back and they tell you that you’ve got to pay x amount in attorney’s / court fees to clear it up.

    • I’m guessing that they’ll hope people get weirded out and call the “attorney”…. then the attorney scares you a little then smooth talks you and says maybe it’s a mistake and he can look into it and sort it out if you give him some information like your SSN, home address, etc. Something along those lines would be my guess.

      • I had this happen to me last year. They already had my SSN, address, info about past debts, everything. It was terrifying at first.

    • Maybe once you call the attorney, they offer to get the charges dropped for a fee?

  • It’s extremely easy to spoof Caller ID. Pretty sure you can do it online for free.

  • Accountering

    My goal is not to spend even $1 in texas in my entire life. I have no intentions of ever visiting, so I don’t see why this would be an issue. With that said, I would be a bit nervous if I got this call, and would call MPD to confirm.

    • Heck, I often feel that way about Virginia! But this scam could come from anywhere (including overseas) and use any state in the script. It makes sense to use a large state in the script to increase the likelihood your victims might have visited it.

  • OMG OP you should have known it’s a scam from the start, unless you’re hiding something or know you did something wrong.

    • My guess is OP thought it was something related to an automated speeding/red light ticket that hadn’t been paid. I travel a lot for work and have gotten those and they take for.ev.er. for the rental company to forward — sometimes you’re paying late fees by the time you see it for the first time.

    • I thought it was a false identity thing. Or someone using a credit card with my name on etc. I had a box of checks stolen awhile back and it’s taken forever to clear up all the mess from that. I thought it was related to that.

      To be honest, the scammers play off the fact that you know you didn’t do anything wrong. Because of that, you want it cleared up asap and will do anything to do that. Don’t tell me you won’t have a moment of panic when you hear “arrest warrant”.

    • Legitimate arrest warrants are issued all the time to people not even aware they broke the law. If I’d been to Texas and the call was convincing enough, I’d contact the police directly as well.

  • On phone scams, also beware callers claiming to be from a chimney services company (sometimes using the name “A&E,” but not always, if I remember correctly) and trying to pressure you into getting their chimney services.
    Any legit telemarketer will quickly hang up if you say, “I’m not interested; please put me on your Do Not Call list.” The woman from this place (who’s called me more than once) kept pressing: “But have you had your chimney inspected FOR SAFETY?”

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