Multiple phone scams targeting people in Portland metro area - KPTV - FOX 12

Multiple phone scams targeting people in Portland metro area

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Multiple phone scams are targeting people in the Portland metro area.

The Portland Police Bureau said Monday that officers have received multiple reports recently regarding a variety of different phone scams.

The scammers profess to be members of a police department or sheriff's department and claim the intended victim missed jury duty, had outstanding fines or a warrant for their arrest that could be taken care of over the phone with a payment.

Other victims have reported callers claiming to be public utilities, the IRS, charities and home repair companies.

Callers typically instruct the victims to purchase re-loadable cards and call them back with the numbers.

The Portland Police Bureau reports that any legitimate law enforcement agency will not call community members seeking payment for outstanding traffic citations or warrants.

Police said it's important to remember to never give personal or financial information to an unsolicited caller or emailer and be suspicious of callers who demand immediate payment for any reason.

Utility companies and government agencies will never contact you for payment by GreenDot, MoneyPak or Vanilla Reload.

MoneyPak, Green Dot and Vanilla Reload have online tools to allow purchasers to request a refund if the scammer has not yet cashed the card.

The Oregon Judicial Department advises that courts may use an independent collection service to collect unpaid monetary judgments and fines. If someone believes they are being scammed regarding an alleged unpaid traffic citation or other court-imposed financial obligation they can ask the caller for specific information, including the court case number, date of ticket and vehicle license number.

Money owed to state courts for most traffic citations, civil fees or criminal fines can be paid online at www.courts.oregon.gov/OJD/OnlineServices/ePay/Pages/index.aspx.

Oregon Judicial Department information can also be verified by calling 1-888-564-2828.

To learn more about IRS scams, please visit http://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Fraud-Alerts.

If you receive a suspected scam call, police say to disconnect without providing any information or taking any instructions from the caller and contact your local law enforcement agency.

You may also file a complaint with the Oregon Department of Justice Consumer Protection Office via the consumer hotline at 1-877-877-9392 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or complete an online consumer complain form anytime at www.doj.state.or.us/consumer/Pages/complaint.aspx.

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