Ellsworth police issue scam alert, impersonators demand payment for fake warrants

1 min read

ELLSWORTH — The Ellsworth Police Department is issuing a warning to residents about a growing phone scam where fraudsters impersonate law enforcement officers and demand payment for nonexistent arrest warrants.

Authorities have noted an increase in reports of scammers threatening people with arrest unless they pay substantial fines.

These calls, often appearing on caller ID as local law enforcement, sheriff’s office, or even 911, falsely claim that the recipient has an outstanding warrant for various infractions such as traffic violations, missed jury duty, or tax evasion.

The scammer then presents the individual with two options: surrender to the local jail or pay a “reduced” fine to settle the warrant.

Payment is typically requested in the form of gift cards or similar methods, with instructions on where to send the money.

These scammers are not only difficult to trace, using prepaid phones, but they also operate outside the jurisdiction where they claim the warrant is issued, complicating law enforcement efforts to apprehend them.

The Ellsworth Police Department emphasizes that while officers might call to inform someone about a warrant, they will never request payments over the phone or offer to negotiate fines to avoid arrest.

Residents are advised to verify any warrant claims by directly contacting the courts or local law enforcement agencies.

Victims of this scam or those who receive such calls should document any information provided by the caller, including names and callback numbers, without disclosing personal details.

They are urged to immediately report the incident to their local law enforcement agency for further investigation.

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