CANTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Canton Township police are warning residents about a new phone scam where the caller pretends to be one of their police officers. On Monday (March 1), a resident called to report the exchange after handing over more than $12,000.
The victim says the caller informed them there was a warrant for their arrest and that they needed to post a bond; otherwise, the caller said the victim would be arrested.
“They told this individual if they failed to show up for a court appearance, they had a subpoena as a witness in case they didn’t show up,” said Officer Patty Essenlink. “Now there’s a warrant.”
The scammer then transferred the victim to another person claiming to be a U.S. Marshal who was there to help with the payment.
The victim was instructed to load money onto gift cards and give the numbers on the back of them to the scammer. Afterward, they instructed the person to send even more money using Zelle and Cash App.
One way to protect yourself is to avoid answering calls you don’t know.
Officer Essenlink says scammers, in some cases, can actually spoof their number to make it look like the call is coming from where the caller says they’re from. Officer Essenlink suggests putting unusual call numbers in a search engine to verify the legitimacy.