"We're troopers, we're not deputies," said Sgt. Tom Weber of ISP. ISP found out about the scam because the scammer called none other than an ISP Trooper. "Hopefully some scammers, potential scammers might be watching this and understand and beware of who you're calling," said Sgt. Weber.
There's humor in the irony but the scam itself is serious. The scammer tells the victim a warrant has been issued for their arrest and the only way to avoid going to jail is transfer money to a prepaid card. "Normal law enforcement contact practices don't involve transactions of that type," said Sgt. Weber. Law enforcement serves warrants in person, and transactions go through a clerk's office, not a prepaid card. "Anybody texting or calling or talking on a line claiming to be a police officer that's typically not how we deal with those issues," said Sgt. Weber.
Anybody can be targeted for a scam, but ISP says the elderly are the most vulnerable. "Have a regular dialogue with them to talk to them about if they're getting calls or communication with other people and keep a special eye out for it," said Sgt. Weber.
ISP says it's tough to trace phone numbers to a specific location, and nearly impossible to find a scammer using a temporary pay card. "Once they get the money out of the account on that card they're off with the wind," said Sgt. Weber. The best way to stop a scam like this is to get the word out, make the public aware, and skeptical of phone calls requesting money or personal information.