The Oregon State Police (OSP) is warning the public to be aware of phone scams by individuals claiming to be the state police.
The OSP periodically receives complaints regarding telephone calls from individuals claiming to be OSP troopers or representatives seeking money in association with dropping criminal charges, clearing arrest warrants, or threats of arrest if demands are not met. Reports from some other law enforcement agencies also indicate similar scam tactics for which citizens statewide are warned not fall prey to these calls.
Recently, male callers with foreign accents are calling citizens in Oregon identifying themselves as members of the Oregon State Police instructing an intended victim to call within a certain period of time and arrange monetary payment to clear an arrest warrant or to cancel a pending court appearance. This scam is not an activity undertaken by the OSP or any other legitimate law enforcement agency or officer. OSP does not call individuals and demand money from citizens under any circumstances. These calls reported to OSP during the past week are consistent with other scams of the same nature that have been reported across the United States.
OSP and Oregon Department of Justice reminds you to be aware that:
• OSP or any other legitimate law enforcement agency does not call citizens seeking payment for outstanding traffic citations.
• OSP does not call individuals and demand money from citizens under any circumstances.
• Individuals claiming to collect debts may try to instill fear in potential victims to persuade them to forward money.
The Oregon Judicial Department advises that courts may use an independent collection service to collect unpaid monetary judgments and fines. If someone believes they are being scammed regarding an alleged unpaid traffic citation, ask the collector (caller) for information specific to the alleged unpaid traffic citation. They should have the court case number, date of ticket, vehicle license, location of violation or other specific information. If the call receiver wants additional detail about the debt or to verify what the caller is telling them, they can call the OJD collections hotline at 1-888-564-2828. OJD Courts now has an online electronic payment service which allows you to pay for many types of court cases, including most traffic citations and many criminal and civil cases.
Intended victims of this scam are encouraged to disconnect the call without providing any information and contact their local Police Department, Sheriff’s Office or OSP. Intended victims are also encouraged to file a complaint with the Oregon Department of Justice Consumer Protection Office via the Consumer Hotline at 1-877-877-9392 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or complete an online Consumer Complaint Form anytime at the Department of Justice website.