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Law enforcement warns public of scams on the rise in Metro Detroit

Scammers are getting more aggressive, police say

An Oakland County woman is warning residents after a terrifying scam that happened to her in February.
An Oakland County woman is warning residents after a terrifying scam that happened to her in February.

WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich. – An Oakland County woman is warning residents after a terrifying scam that happened to her in February.

She received a phone call that said there was a warrant out for her and that she needed to pay up or she’d be taken to jail.

Then the scammers showed up on her doorstep.

Police believe this scam is happening all over Metro Detroit and are on the rise.

The woman asked Local 4 to conceal her identity.

She said the scam call offered to void her warrant if she cooperated.

“They wanted gift cards, banking information,” she said. “After that, they could cancel the arrest warrant.”

Normally, she’d think it was a scam, but the scammers knew her name, address and social security number. She was fearful she would go to jail for something she didn’t do.

“I went to the store, bought gift cards, read them the numbers. They would come back tomorrow to close more accounts,” she said.

That’s the biggest concern for police. Not only did they tell her they would come to her home, they dressed as police officers and showed up at her house.

“One said they were a West Bloomfield police officer another said FBI,” she recalled. “They had a warrant but weren’t going to arrest me as long as I cooperated.”

The scammers ended up getting nearly $1,500 from her.

“They already use high pressure tactics on the phone,” said West Bloomfield Police deputy chief Curt Lawson. “Now they’re showing up at your residence? That’s a whole different escalation.”

Lawson said scams like this are on the rise in every city in Metro Detroit. In West Bloomfield, there were 475 fraud cases in 2020. There have already been 75 cases in the first two months of 2021.

As a reminder, a real police agency will never call you on the phone and ask for money ever.

The scammers that came to the woman’s door are likely behind dozens -- if not hundreds -- of more scams.

More: Metro Detroit Crime News


About the Authors:

Nick joined the Local 4 team in February of 2015. Prior to that he spent 6 years in Sacramento covering a long list of big stories including wildfires and earthquakes. Raised in Sterling Heights, he is no stranger to the deep history and pride Detroit has to offer.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.