August 19, 2013 15:00The Portland Police Bureau would like to make the public aware of a telephone scam recently reported to police.
On August 7, 2013, a man from Salem, Oregon to report that he received a call from a Portland Police phone number and that the caller was posing as a Portland Police officer.
The complainant reported that the caller told him that an officer was filing a complaint against him and that he would be arrested in 45 minutes if he did not agree to pay a fine over the phone.
The complainant knew this was a scam and hung up the phone and called police.
In June 2013, the Oregon State Police reported a similar incident in Forest Grove, Oregon.
Since November 2012, the Oregon State Police received a few complaints from community members regarding similar telephone calls from individuals claiming to be police demanding money in exchange for dropping criminal charges or clearing arrest warrants. Similar cases have also involved callers using titles of "Officer" and "Deputy".
The Portland Police Bureau reminds you to be aware that:
- The Portland Police Bureau or any other legitimate law enforcement agency does not call community members seeking payment for outstanding traffic citations or warrants.
- The Portland Police Bureau does not call individuals and demand money from community members 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 (OJD) 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 or other court-imposed financial obligation they can:
- Ask the collector (caller) for information specific to the alleged warrant or unpaid traffic citation. The caller should have the court case number, date of ticket and vehicle license number.
- Verify the debt or confirm other details by calling the OJD collections hotline at 1-888-564-2828.
- Use OJD Courts ePay to directly pay money owed to state courts for most traffic citations, civil fees or criminal fines (For more information go to http://www.courts.oregon.gov/OJD/OnlineServices/ePay/Pages/index.aspx.
If you receive a similar call, disconnect without providing any information or taking any instructions from the caller. Contact your local law enforcement agency. You may also 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 http://www.doj.state.or.us/consumer/Pages/complaint.aspx.
Sgt. Pete Simpson