Darien police said a Barringer Road resident told them on Nov. 22 that she was called by someone claiming to be town police Lt. TJ Whyte, who told her there was an active warrant for her arrest for failing to appear in court — but when she challenged that statement, the caller hung up.
The caller wasn’t Whyte.
Soon after the woman’s report, police issued an announcement telling the public that calls to area residents were being made by thieves purporting to be Darien police officers or officers of other departments in the area.
The purpose is to get the victim to pay “bond fees” with gift cards, voucher cards or money transfers to the thieves. The payments are untraceable or extremely difficult to trace.
According to the announcement: “If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are often threatened with arrest and the caller may become hostile and insulting.”
Because the caller hung up, no demand for money was made, and the Barringer Road woman lost no money. She received the call on her cell phone and was able to give police the phone number of the caller.
When police called the number, they got a recorded message saying the phone number was for “Lieutenant TJ Whyte of the Darien Police Department.”