Police Shoulder

Phone Scammer Says He’s Darien Police Officer, Hangs Up When Potential Victim Challenges His Claims

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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.

Darien Police Department

New Phone Scam Uses Darien Police Officers’ Names: Don’t Contribute Over the Phone

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The Darien Police Department would like to warn area residents about a sophisticated phone scam that is targeting victims not only in Darien, but in neighboring towns. — an announcement from Darien Police Department
Potential victims have recently received phone calls from suspects identifying themselves using actual names of Darien police officers. In the most recent version of this scam, the suspect informs the victim that they have missed a court appearance and must purchase gift/voucher cards or conduct wire transfers in order to pay “bond” fees. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are often threatened with arrest and the caller may become hostile and insulting. Residents should also be warned that these scams can be so complex, that the suspects have set up legitimate sounding voicemail greeting messages in the event you hang up and call back.

Family Emergency Scams

FTC: Here’s One Kind of Fraud to Warn Your Relatives About This Thanksgiving

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Whether it’s a spare can of cranberry sauce or an extra turkey platter, thoughtful Thanksgiving hosts make contingency plans for the holiday. This year, if the dinner discussion veers into controversial territory — like the pumpkin pie vs. pecan pie debate — here’s a suggested topic of conversation you can have at the ready. — This article is from a post by Lesley Fair on the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information blog. Fair is an attorney in the FTC Division of Consumer and Business Education.

Gift Cards Jan Mayen Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:D%C3%A1rkov%C3%A9_karty.jpg

A Red Flag That You May Be Getting Scammed: They Want Payment Through a Gift Card

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Gift cards are a great way to give a gift. But did you know they are also a scammer’s favorite way to steal money? According to the FTC’s new Data Spotlight, more scammers are demanding payment with a gift card than ever before — a whopping 270 percent increase since 2015. — This article is from the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information blog. The author, Cristina Miranda, works in the FTC Division of Consumer and Business Education.


Elderly Woman Loses $1,000 to Thief in IRS Phone Scam

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A 74-year-old woman who works in Darien got a phone call from a man pretending to be an IRS agent, and within hours $1,000 was taken from her. The case involves a common telephone scam in which the caller is told to immediately pay money through a wire transfer or gift card or some dire result will take place — in this case, that she would be arrested for lack of a tax payment claimed by the scammer. Elderly people tend to be victimized by the scam more than others. Darien police gave this account of the matter:

The woman, a New Haven resident who works at a house in Darien, had received a voice mail message about a month before from a “Paul Brown” who identified himself as an Internal Revenue Service official. He claimed in the voice mail that the victim owed the government money and he told her to call 509-592-9796.