North Carolina police officer had a little fun with a telephone con artist who tried to threaten her with arrest over phony bank fraud and money laundering charges.
In a video posted to the agency’s Facebook page, Capt. Ann Stephens with the Apex Police Department humored the man’s attempts to obtain her address and personal information before delivering a warning to viewers.
“Folks, these are scam calls. Don’t ever give out your information. Don’t ever verify your information, even if they have it,” Stephens said, noting that a lot of those details can be obtained online.
The caller purports to be an officer named “John Black” with the Social Security Administration. He demands cooperation from Stephens, whom he obviously doesn’t realize is an actual law enforcement officer.
She refuses to “verify” the last four digits of her social security number or her home address, instead providing the address to the police department.
Stephens seems genuinely tickled as the caller informs her that there were 25 phony bank accounts in her name that had used to commit more than $10 million worth of fraud, worldwide.
The man tells Stephens a deputy will be arriving in about 45 minutes to arrest her for drug trafficking, money laundering and tax fraud.
This is usually the point in the call when the scammer offers to handle the victim’s legal or financial troubles by having them send money, sometimes using prepaid gift cards or money transfers.
Local, state and national authorities have warned the public about several versions of these schemes that involve crooks posing as the Internal Revenue Service, utility companies such as Entergy or Atmos, bail bond companies offering to free a jailed loved one and even law enforcement agencies.
Government entities, authorities and companies will not seek your personal identifying information or solicit money in such a manner, investigators have warned over the years.
Don’t send money and don’t provide bank account numbers or birth dates, according to Stephens.
“They’re scammers,” she said. “Just hang up on them or have a little fun.”
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