WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Law enforcement officials across the region are issuing a phone scam alert to area residents.
The scammers are calling people saying an arrest warrant has been issued for them. Investigators say it’s all about trying to steal your identity and possibly your money.
This all has to do with a supposed lawsuit filed against the person who is targeted by the scammers. The I-Team spoke with a Wilkes-Barre resident who says he almost fell for it and he wanted to warn others about the scam.
“I’m 75 years old and I was a nervous wreck,” said Charlie, a Wilkes-Barre resident. “I picked up the phone, the first thing they said ‘this is the law offices’ but they never said where and then a guy came on a tape and he said his name was **** I am being sued and they have a warrant for my arrest and they were coming to pick me up.”
The I-Team asked Charlie if he realized it was a scam or if he thought it was real. He said he thought it was real at first.
He said the scammer demanded that he talked to his supervisor about the arrest warrant and Charlie hung up. However, the scammers were relentless, calling 15 more times, in a matter of hours, from different phone numbers.
“They said my time was up, they gave me a second chance to call that same person and since I didn’t call…This is the final call at five they are going to send somebody down to pick me up,” exclaimed Charlie.
Luzerne County District Attorney Sam Sanguedolce says they are seeing an increased complexity with scams and that arrest warrants are not handled in this way.
“If a warrant has in fact been issued for your arrest, the police may contact you and tell you to report to the station, otherwise, they just are going to come and get you,” said Sanguedolce.
He says scammers are trying to get your personal information that they can use to possibly steal your identity and your money.
“You have to be extra cautious. Under no circumstances should you email or over the phone give things like put your personal information such as birthday and social security numbers. That’s an absolute no,” Sanguedolce said.
Sanguedolce says most of the time these scammers are working from other countries and use different phone numbers so they are hard to track.
Pennsylvania State Police have released some tips on their website for residents to protect themselves from becoming a victim of scam artists.