I-Team: Warning issued about ‘arrest warrant’ scam

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EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — Eyewitness News is working to help protect area residents from scams.

No doubt we’ve all been targeted at one time or another or know somebody that was ripped off. All this week on Eyewitness News at 11, the I-Team will have special reports with information you need to know on how to spot these scams and how you can protect yourself and your family.

Monday night the I-Team took a close look at a scam that threatens a person with arrest unless they pay up.

“I’m 75 years old and I was a nervous wreck,” scam target Charles of Wilkes-Barre said.

Charles wants to warn others about the scam call he received.

“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,” Charles said.

The I-Team asked Charles if he realized it was a scam or if he thought it was real. He said he thought it was real at first.

“At first I did,” Charles said.

And as we have seen in other scams, the con artists were relentless, calling him dozens of times in a matter of hours.

“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 to pick me up,” Charles said.

Unless he payed up or gave them his personal information. The I-Team tried calling the number and as expected got a recording that said: “This line has been disconnected.””

“We are seeing an increased complexity with these scams,” Luzerne County District Attorney Sam Sanguedolce said.

Sanguedolce says arrest warrants are not handled in this way.

“If an arrest warrant has in fact been issued for your arrest, the police may contact you and tell you to report to the station. Otherwise they are just going to come and get you,” Sanguedolce said.

The mission of the scammers? Get your personal information to access your bank accounts, credit card, to steal 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.

And investigators say there is a scam for just about every day of the week. Tuesday the I-Team will take a look at the “free money scam”.

What it is and how you can protect yourself.

There are a multitude of federal, state and local agencies that can provide assistance if you think you’ve been targeted by a scam. For more information on scams, visit www.psp.pa.gov.

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