The Ketchikan Police Department is warning the public about a new phone scam in which the scammer claims to be from the Ketchikan Police Department.
Police Chief Joe White said he got a call Monday morning from a woman who had just received one of the scam calls. She told him the caller ID showed the local police number – 907-225-6631. The caller told her to Google the phone number to confirm it was the local police, and then told her he was Lt. Joe White.
The caller then told the woman she had missed jury duty.
“And if she did not get a thousand dollars in Google Play cards and send them to this person, she would be booked for missing jury duty,” White said.
The woman told the caller that she needed to look into it, and the caller gave her a different number to call him back – not a local number. When she told the caller that didn’t make sense, he threatened to send a cruiser over to arrest her.
“She hung up on him and she called me,” White said. “I’m like, ‘No.’ The police department doesn’t do that. We don’t call you up and ask for credit cards, we don’t ask for PayPal, we don’t ask for Google Play cards. We don’t ask for any of that stuff.”
White said if anyone receives a call like that, they should hang up immediately, call the local police number and report it.
“I would feel really bad if anybody in our community paid money under these circumstances,” he said. “That is just now how the police department – we don’t do business that way.”
White said one way to identify a phone scam over a legitimate call is if the caller asks for prepaid cards, like Google Play.
White said he called the number that the scammer had left for the woman, and it rang numerous times before going to voicemail. The voicemail message identified the number as belonging to Lt. Joe White.
The scammer is a little out of date. White hasn’t been a lieutenant for a couple of years.