WCSO issues phone scam warning to residents
The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office would like to warn the public about an ongoing phone scam in the county that has already robbed people of thousands. We have dozens of victims already, and more continue to come forward.
It often begins with a simple phone call to the victim. The perpetrator, using names of real members of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, tells the victim they missed jury duty or that they (or a loved one) have an outstanding warrant. The phone number appears to be coming from the WCSO, but it is not. The scammers already have the victim’s personal information and then ask to either verify it or get more information. They then ask for money, often, in the form of cryptocurrency, but have also asked for debit card numbers and have used Apple Pay. We have some victims who have lost thousands of dollars and believe there may be countless others who have not yet come forward.
“Please be cognizant that these bad actors exist,” said Sheriff Raphael Washington. “They’re manipulating the technology available, usually with an internet search, and getting information about a victim to seem legitimate. The WCSO will never ask for money over the phone.”
“We’re working with multiple agencies to actively investigate these complaints and take down these perpetrators,” said WCSO Internal Affairs Captain Reid Chakrabarty. “We believe there are multiple scammers involved and it’s truly despicable. People naturally want to comply with the police, but please understand that we will never call and ask for money. There’s no such thing as, ‘pay me this money now or you will be arrested.’”
Important tips to avoid scams like these:
Do not verify personal information and do not give out personal information.
Never give money over the phone to someone you don’t know.
An Officer will never threaten to arrest you for not attending jury duty.
Call the police if the caller keeps harassing you. Hang up. Block the number.
Never agree to meet anyone.
If you believe you or a loved one has been a victim of this scam, please report it:
You can call WCSO dispatch at 313-224-0414.
You can call the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-382-4357 or file a complaint online.
You can also report it to the Internet Crime Complaint Center here.