Phone scammer claims to be from Oregon State Police - KPTV - FOX 12

Phone scammer claims to be from Oregon State Police, asks for money

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SALEM, OR (KPTV) -

A phone scam where a caller claims to be from the Oregon State Police prompted a warning from OSP on Wednesday.

The caller asks for money in exchange for dropping criminal charges or clearing arrest warrants, but Oregon State Police Lt. Gregg Hastings said OSP never calls people to seek payment for outstanding traffic citations or warrants.

On July 16, a man in Mosier received a call from someone claiming to be "Deputy James Anderson with the Oregon State Police." He provided a badge number, and told the man he had a warrant out for his arrest.

The caller directed the man to call a 410 area code and speak with someone named "Jason Washington."

Once Oregon State Police got word of the scam, a detective posed as the Mosier man and called the phone number. The detective spoke with a man who had a Middle Eastern accent and identified himself as "Jason Washington."

He had knowledge of the Mosier resident's driver's license, Social Security number and email address, and told the detective to send $549 immediately via Western Union or a reloadable prepaid card from a Rite Aid store.

The scammer eventually hung up when asked for an address where the money could be sent.

State police said similar calls have been made since November 2012 and Oregon isn't the only state where it's happening.

Troopers issued the following reminders Wednesday:

  • OSP or any other legitimate law enforcement agency does not call citizens seeking payment for outstanding traffic citations or warrants.
  • OSP does not call individuals and demand money from citizens under any circumstances.
  • Individuals claiming to collect debts may try to instill fear in potential victims to persuade them to send money.

If you receive a similar call, report the call to police. Complaints can also be filed via a Consumer Complaint Form on the Department of Justice website.

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