Friday, February 15, 2013
A Wichita woman frightened out of her wits by a phone call that turned out to be scam. The caller claimed to be a sheriff's deputy and told the woman there was a warrant out for her arrest.
Turns out, it was a scam.
The caller threatened to take the woman to jail if she didn't pay a fee. She says it seemed credible because somehow they made the call appear as it was coming from the Sedgwick County Jail.
Elisabeth Myers got a phone call at work Wednesday from a man claiming to be a state sheriff's deputy.
He knew her name, address, even social security number. He also told her there was a warrant out for her arrest because she owed money to a loan company.
"Well we can take care of it right now if you want to give me $300, we'll call it good," Myers said.
Even though Myers doesn't have any outstanding warrants and doesn't owe anyone money, she says she almost paid it because she was scared and worried.
"I'm a single mom and so the first thing that popped into my mind was my son and I saw myself behind bars and I didn't know what he was going to do because he made it sound so real," Myers said.
While she was still on the phone, her supervisor searched the number Myers had called. Her search returned page after page of people complaining about the same exact scam.
Wichita police say they do call people with outstanding warrants and they will ask to confirm personal information. But if the person on the phone starts asking for payment, that should be a red flag.
"Most of the time we're just alerting them that the warrant exists. It's a courtesy call, we're not looking to collect," Lt. Doug Nolte with the Wichita Police Department said.
Although Myers didn't pay the scammer any money, she says she's still shaken from the phone call and worried that the person on the other end of the phone has all her personal information.
"Him knowing where I live and me being single it's just scary, because you never know," Myers said.
Even though the caller ID showed the call as coming from the jail, the caller gave Myers an out of state number to call back. That's why police tell us if you're ever unsure about a phone call, don't be afraid to ask for a phone number to call them back just to make sure they are who they say they are.