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Springfield Police Warn of 9-1-1 Telephone Scam

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- If you get a call on your cell phone with 9-1-1 as the caller ID, it may be a scam, Springfield police said Wednesday.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- If you get a call on your cell phone with 9-1-1 as the caller ID, it may be a scam, Springfield police said Wednesday.

SPD spokesperson Lisa Cox says one person has already reported the scam and it is likely other people have been targeted also.

Cox says the woman reported getting a call with 9-1-1 as the caller ID.  The person on the other end of the line asked for person information, then told her she had a "warrant out for her arrest" for "Failure to pay back a payday loan." 

According to Cox the male caller said police would be her home to arrest her if she didn't pay the loan off.  She was told to call another number where a second man told her to load money onto a money card, then give him the card information.

Police warn that scam artists know how to "spoof" telephone numbers so they appear to be coming from local law enforcement or even 9-1-1.

If you have been a victim of this scam, call your local police department.   And you can learn more about these kinds of scams on the FBI's website.


Full News Release from Springfield Police:

The Springfield Police Department has received a report from a citizen recently victimized by a telephone scam. It is probable the suspects have also attempted the scam on other victims in the area.

The complainant reported receiving a call on her cellular telephone which showed on the display as being from “911.” The suspect, who had what the victim described as an Indian accent, asked the victim for some personal information and then informed the victim she had a warrant out for her arrest for “failure to pay back a payday loan.” He advised her officers would be at her residence soon to arrest her unless she took care of the matter. The victim was given a telephone number and a fake case number before being instructed to call “the Attorney General” at a number given. Upon calling the number, the victim spoke with another male with an Indian accent who advised the warrant would be withdrawn if the victim paid the loan in full by loading the dollar amount onto a money card and giving him the card information. While speaking with the suspect, the victim received another call on her phone that appeared on the display as being from an area law enforcement agency. The victim complied with the requests of the suspects and ended up paying the requested amount.

Citizens should be aware that suspects have been known to spoof telephone numbers so that the numbers appear to be from local law enforcement agencies or 911 on Caller ID. The SPD advises citizens to be wary of any unsolicited telephone call during which the caller demands immediate payment. Citizens should obtain the name of the caller before hanging up and calling the official telephone number of the agency to verify the credentials given to them by the caller.

The SPD also advises citizens not to give out or verify their personal information unless the citizen made the initial call directly to the known agency.

The FBI provides more tips for protecting yourself from being victimized by phone scams on its website. 

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