On Tuesday, Jan. 15, two suspects posing as a debt collector and police officer scammed a Milpitas resident out of $3,000 on the phone.
An unknown woman called the victim and stated there was an outstanding loan balance which needed to be paid immediately or the victim would be arrested, according to Milpitas Police Monday.
Someone who identified himself as a law enforcement officer then contacted the victim and indicated an arrest would take place on a specific date.
The victim was provided with specific instructions about purchasing prepaid visa gift cards to make the payment and to avoid legal action.
Out of fear, the victim followed through with the demand, sending approximately $3000 worth of pre paid visa cards to later discover the entire incident was a fraudulent scam.
Milpitas Police Department is now warning the public about scams where money is demanded and arrests are threatened.
The following is their advice on avoiding fraudulent payment over the phone.
Individuals posing as Debt Collectors may have a considerable amount of personal information without you providing it to them, including the name of your bank, your Social Security Number, birth date, or other information.
Suspects may try to instill fear in victims or use other means to persuade victims to forward money or personal information. If someone demands payment on a debt or loan that you have a good faith belief you do not owe, send a letter, certified mail, return-receipt, to the debt collector disputing the debt.
If you are unfamiliar with the information that is being requested or believe the request to be fraudulent, contact your banking institution and alert them that your account may have been compromised.
Carefully review your accounts by contacting your creditors and request available security options. If you believe you may be a victim of fraud or a scam, immediately report it to the police department.
The Milpitas Police Department continues to work together with the community and encourage residents and business owners to call the police department with any information on crimes or suspicious activity occurring in Milpitas. Citizens are encouraged to call the Milpitas Police Department at (408) 586-2400 or anonymously by calling (408) 586-2500 or via the Milpitas Police Department website.