Don’t let the scammers scam YOU

By “Sam” . . . It was a quiet Sunday afternoon in my hometown. I was making a bite to eat and watching the basketball game on TV before heading to my mom and dad’s house to eat like I do almost every Sunday evening when my cell phone rang. Normally, if it’s a number I am unfamiliar, with I do not answer, but today I did because I was expecting a call and the number calling was from my same area code. I answered and they asked for me by my full name. I hesitated and then asked who was calling. The caller said he was a Sargent Longo or something similar from the XXX Police Department and said he needed to speak with me and was glad he had reached me on the phone before something bad happened.  I kinda chuckled and said I already know this is a scam and cut him off in mid-sentence. The man on the other end of the line kept a stern voice and said this is no laughing matter and that he had 2 warrants out for my arrest. As soon as he finished speaking, I told him if the police department had warrants for my arrest, I would already be in jail. The caller proceeded to say some other things, most of which I couldn’t hear because the connection was starting to break up. I looked at my phone and saw the number was actually from a town 50 miles away. I told the caller that he wasn’t even calling from the town where I lived, laughed, and hung up.  I figured that was that and proceeded to watch the game on TV.

A few minutes later, I get another call from the same number.  At first I was not going to answer it, but part of me wanted to see what he was going to say.  I answered and the same man on the other end said sorry, he was in a bad service area.  As he kept trying to speak, I kept cutting him off with comments like, “If you are going to pretend you are calling from here, make sure the number reflects where you are calling from and not just the area code.” He finally said, “I guess I am going to have to file you as non- compliant!”  I could tell I was starting to get to him by the sound of anger in his voice.  He said I had two outstanding warrants, one for failure to appear and one for not providing a DNA sample. He also claimed to have sent me numerous letters in the mail telling me to come in to the police department for DNA submission.  I chuckled again and said they already have my DNA, in fact they took it when I initially was arrested and again when I went to prison.  He said it must have been tampered with or lost or not processed. I knew that wasn’t the case because as soon as they get your DNA, it goes into a database online and that’s the end of story. Certainly, if there had been a problem, they would have corrected that long ago while I was in prison or before.  The reception was getting so bad I decided to end the call and told him not to call me back.  I’m not sure if he was able to hear me, but I never got a call back.  I really wanted him to finish the call, but we did not even make it to the part where he asks for prepaid gift or phone cards to cover the court costs which somehow would prevent me from going to jail.

At first I wasn’t bothered dealing with these events other than my blood pressure being a little higher than it should have been.  A few minutes later I felt a surge of anger come over me because I started thinking about our collective struggles with many of us having a hard time making ends meet or just getting through the day trying to deal with all the restrictions put on us. I thought to myself, here is this person trying to use the registry to exploit me and people like me by feeding on our fears. Honestly, especially after going through all I have gone through, I really do not like seeing people kicked while they are down regardless of their circumstance. I felt certain this guy that just called me has on more than one occasion stolen money from someone on the registry who was less knowledgeable or overreacting to their worst fears. The guy that called me certainly called at a great time. It was a Sunday, and I had no way to get in touch with anyone. The non-emergency police number wasn’t available on Sundays, and my probation officer had his cell off that Sunday.

In the end, even though I was certain I was right and the call was a scam, a tiny part of me was still wondering what if all this were true. Since I couldn’t put it to rest, it hung around in the back of my mind until the following day when I heard back from my probation officer that everything was fine.  My PO did state that our group of people (those on the registry serving probation/parole) have been getting hit pretty hard with this scam over the last few weeks, so it seems pretty widespread. I decided to write this because I wanted to do everything I could do to make sure no one gets scammed or allows a call like I had to disrupt what was otherwise a nice relaxing day.  Even though I didn’t let the caller scam me, I still stressed over the “what if” in the back of my mind until I heard back from my PO, so in a way he still got to me. It is my hope that this story will find at least one person out there and save them from being scammed or from being stressed.

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    • #55373 Reply
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      wrongfully registered person

      If the real Police wanted to help in your town or any other they would pull their heads out of there head hiding places and make a fake entry to the registry and have the phone number set up to go to the police so they could triangulate them like the do with criminals and get the scammers. Maybe NARSOL could make a letter to state authorities suggesting such action this way the police would not be able to act like there is nothing they can do when someone told them a absolute sure way of getting these people. Just a suggestion from a wrongfully registered person.

    • #55431 Reply
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      Mark S.

      Ah Sam: I am surprised you did not know this. If any police have a warrant (or 2 or 3), against you or anyone else for that matter, THEY NEVER CALL…………..Instead they usually send a garrison to your door, knock and announce and then kick the door in while 50 or so neighbors watch the show…. THEY NEVER CALL………..At least you had the testicular fortitude to hang on the line and question them until all failed. If you still have the number of the caller, you may want to go to the cops (who love registered citizens), and they may reverse look up the caller because they love registered citizens……. But thank you for your story…..So far I have not been called and I would really have some fun then if called and then I would go to the cops (because they love registered citizens), with the number from my caller ID.

      • #55522 Reply
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        Lovecraft

        “As soon as he finished speaking, I told him if the police department had warrants for my arrest, I would already be in jail.”

        Based on that sentence, Im sure Sam was already aware that they would have been out to his house in force and at the begining of the article the first thing he said was I know this is a scam. Unfortunately, it seems he couldnt get ahold of his parole people so he let that “what if” stir around a bit, which I cant say I blame him. I imagine most people who get that call for the first time even if they know its a scam still get a little stressed or worry even though they are 99.9% certain the caller is full of it. For some rc’s the paranoia is there until that 99.9% turns into 100%.

    • #55442 Reply
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      PS

      For those saying the police never call, this is not true. I was called once and was not asked my name, they new the number was correct because it was on file. He told me I had slipped out of compliance and had spoken to my PO and I needed to come down and take care of it ASAP. He asked me when I could make it by and I needed to take care of it in 24 hours. I TOOK CARE OF IT.

      I called my family and lawyer first because I know there are cases where people show up and get arrested but this did not happen in my case.

      I guess the point is, don’t automatically ignore when someone says they are from the police. Do remember, they won’t need to confirm your personals like DOB SOC number Etc. Never give out those details. Never confirm you are on the registry, then the scammer knows they are speaking to the right person. If it is the police, they will tell you you need to come see them and no details can be handled over the phone

      • #55454 Reply
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        MARK S.

        The police was not looking to arrest you…………Plain and simple. And you were/are under supervision. Who ever called you did you favor. Obviously, there were no warrants involved. My statements I made are true. If they wanted you, either by a Parole officer, they would do essentially the same thing as the police….I wrote about. If it were probation, most likely you would have been arrested, and then go to court for a probation violation. I have a real edge being an ex-paralegal. In short, I know whence I speak from. And if they do call you to ask you to come on down because they want to “talk” to you, it is a fool’s erred to blithely go and “talk” to the police. And again, if they wanted you, the garrison would show up with paper and scoop you………….. Just sayin…………

    • #55475 Reply
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      Donald M.

      This also happened to me. The scammer called my son’s phone number asking for me. He said he was a Sheriff’s deputy. I called the number given and the “deputy” said I had not paid any fees and I was seriously behind. I had just completed the twice a year update to the registry at the Sheriff’s office. So if there were “fee’s” I would have been told at that time. Also a deputy had stopped at my residence to verify the address; he would have said something about fee’s.
      The more he talked the more suspicious I got. I even said to my supervisor ( I was at work) I think it is a scam. The “deputy” overheard me say scam and tried to act offended. I finally got him off the phone. I then called the Sheriff’s office. The person on duty said there is a scam going around and to ignore it. I later saw the number used was linked to several other counties have scammer issues.

      If you are following your state’s law on the registry you need not worry.

    • #55562 Reply
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      Connie

      My husband received a call and was instructed to report to the …jail for a DNA sample. The man gave a badge number, unit number and name. He sounded fairly convincing. He said later in the conversation that it was a federal investigation and he was from the FBI. They had a mobile unit and would take my husband to it. No way was I letting my husband go with some stranger without throughly checking the truth of this story. We went to our local police department and ask them if they would check name and badge number. The detective was kind enough to make phone calls and check the information given to us. He told us it was a scam.

    • #58455 Reply
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      Kendal aka The One who fell for it

      So I did buy the cards… now before you go on about how I should have known better etc, etc, etc, Yes I should have known better, but since my charges back in the dark ages and on, I have never been in jail even for 5 minutes, and I don’t plan on starting anytime soon. I had to re-register yesterday and talked to the deputy about what went on, and this is what he told me.

      The guy on the phone would not let me off the phone – If it had been the real sheriff’s department, I could have hung up and made calls and called them back

      They will not call me to tell me there is a warrant for me – Yes, at least in my county there would be no call about a warrant. They might call to tell me there is some sort of problem with my registration, but there will never be about me going in or I would be arrested. If I was going to be arrested then they would just come arrest me.

      The Sheriff’s department does not now and will not in the future take any form of payment that is not cash, check or credit card.

      In my case, I lucked out because I read him one number, messed up on the second number and then the phone went dark, so I immediately took the opportunity to call the sheriff’s department and check it out, and then proceeded to drive over to the sheriff’s department to file a statement. Guess what, I wasn’t arrested or detained. So in asking for 2000.00 they only got away with 200.00. And I ended up with 1800.00 in google play cards, but at least I have the use and not some scum of the earth.

      Things to do in the future if they do happen to call back – hang up and call the sheriff directly, if it is real, they will be glad to talk to you, if not, then they will tell you that you are not about to be arrested and detained.

      Oh and on a final note, They used the rouse on me that if I told the store what I was buying the cards for, they would call crimestoppers and turn me in for the reward. I came up with another story at the store, and they told me that the sheriff’s office does not take cards, and I should check it out. The guy on the phone told me they had call and units were on their way to detain me. At this time, I said to just come detain me, and he said there were units on the way, would I like to talk to his supervisor, of course I said yes, and another guy came on the phone and told me to get out of there before they got there. Another misleading statement, they would have never told me to get out of there.

      Oh well, live and learn… at least I can watch all the movies I have been missing and already have the money to pay for them

    • #61922 Reply
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      Vin

      Has anyone heard of a sergeant Wilson Meadows of the New Jersey warren county sheriffs office with important information about SRO status.

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