The Bend Police Department reports it has received multiple calls Wednesday from people saying they have been the targets of scam phone calls and emails. Those scammers are claiming to be Bend Police and are using the names of real members of the department, including high-ranking ones.
The scammers claim the victim missed a court date or is in some other trouble. The scammer then demands money, otherwise the victim may face a fine or arrest.
The callers have claimed to be Capt. Nick Parker and Deputy Chief Paul Kansky — two actual members of the Bend Police Department — among others.
Bend Police reminds the public that such calls are not from them. Officers aren’t responsible for court dates. They will never call to demand money. Importantly, police would not be demanding gift cards, Bitcoin, payments through Zelle or other apps or other unconventional forms of payment.
If you get a call like this, hang up. Then call police to report it.
Police remind you that scammers will try to use these tactics on you.
- Pressure: They’ll tell you there is a problem or a prize, and scammers will push you to act quickly to solve the problem or claim the prize. As a consumer, you should slow down and take your time. Take a moment to think about what the person is asking of you and to do some research.
- Unusual payment forms: Scammers will want you to pay in a certain way that legitimate agencies or businesses would never require. A sign that it is a scam? They’re asking you to provide money in the form of gift cards, cryptocurrency or wire transfer. Others will send you a check, ask you to deposit it and send them the money.
- Impersonation of legitimate agencies: Scammers typically pretend to be from an organization you know – Medicare, Social Security Administration, etc. They may spoof a phone number to show that organization’s name, or create an email address that looks very similar to an official one. Ask to call back, or examine the email address to see if it’s real.
Police also remind you to never give your personal or financial information in a call or other contact that you did not initiate. Don’t click on links in a text or email. Call the actual organization or bank back and ask whether the organization contacted you.
If you’ve been a victim of a scam, report it to the Federal Trade Commission at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. Call Bend Police, who can advise you of your rights and provide you with additional resources.