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Law & Justice

Police Say Scammers Targeting Victims In Treasure Valley

Thomas Hawk

Con artists are giving new life to an old scam. The Boise Police Department is warning Treasure Valley residents to avoid becoming victims.

The Boise Police Department says scammers are using fear and the threat of arrest to get victims to part with their money. BPD first reported on a version of this scam last November.  Now they say scammers have escalated their efforts to con people out of money.

Here's how the scam works:

Victims get a phone call from a man claiming to be a local law enforcement officer. They pretend to be a lieutenant and in one recent case, used the name Pete Davis. They claim to be from the "Ada County warrant division" or "Ada County records". The caller says the victim is about to be arrested, usually for failure to pay a traffic ticket. The scammer demands a $500 payment through a pre-paid cash card, sometimes called green or blue cards. The victim is told to give the card's serial and security number over the phone.

BPD says the scammer either stays on the phone until they get the cash or gives the victim a call back number.  That number looks like it's from Idaho, but police have been unable to track where it really comes from.

Police say they never call people on the phone and demand money. BPD also says pre-paid cards are untraceable and charges cannot be reversed.

Those who get such a call and are worried about a warrant or unpaid traffic fine, are encouraged to hang up and call Ada County records at 208-577-3000 for more information.

Idaho State Police recently warned against a similar scam.

Find Samantha Wright on Twitter @samwrightradio

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