Consumer Alert: AG’s office warns Kentuckians of arrest warrant scams

AG's office reports increase in arrest warrant scams, Kentuckians losing more than $41,000

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The state Attorney General’s (AG) office is warning Kentuckians about a scam related to fake arrest warrants.

According to the AG’s office, scammers impersonate law enforcement in order to convince people that they have an outstanding warrant for their arrest and must immediately make a payment for fake fines.

“Arrest warrant scams are not new, but this type of fraud is on the rise in Kentucky,” said Attorney General Cameron. “Kentuckians in all 120 counties should be on guard for scammers who impersonate law enforcement and demand payment via gift cards or mobile payment apps. Report scams to ag.ky.gov/scams.”

Since January, the Attorney General’s office has reported an increase in arrest warrant scams, and Kentuckians have reported losing over $41,000 to these scams. In addition to these losses, the Attorney General’s office is aware of increased reports of arrest warrant scams from agencies with whom the office collaborates on fraud prevention efforts. While fraudsters may seek to scam any Kentuckian, recent reports show an uptick in arrest warrant scams targeting workers in the medical community.

According to the AG’s office, scammers use spoofed phone numbers to impersonate members of law enforcement. The callers tell potential victims of an alleged outstanding warrant for their arrest due to missing jury duty or the violation of a federal subpoena and then threaten arrest if a payment isn’t made immediately. Scammers usually demand payment through gift cards or mobile payment apps and often require victims to remain in contact with them until the payment is made. Scammers tell victims they will be apprehended if they go to a police station before making a payment.

To avoid becoming a victim of an arrest warrant scam, the AG’s office recommends following these tips:

  • Resist pressure to make an immediate payment to a threatening caller. Scammers use scare tactics to create a sense of urgency.
  • If you receive a call from a law enforcement officer demanding that you pay a fine to avoid arrest for a missed court appearance, jury duty, or other matter to avoid arrest, hang up and contact the actual law enforcement agency directly at their official telephone number.
  • Remember that law enforcement will not require payment over the phone or through gift cards to resolve these matters.
  • If there is a warrant for your arrest, you will not get a phone call warning you. A police officer or deputy will just show up to arrest you.

For additional information on avoiding warrant scams, click HERE.

To report scams, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-888-432-9257, or complete the online scam complaint form online HERE.

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