Whether you have a landline or a cell phone, phone scammers continue to target vulnerable consumers.  Scammers will falsely claim to represent your local electric company, the IRS, Amazon, Apple or other trusted organizations.  Now one local law enforcement agency has a local warning for Idahoans.

The Meridian Police Department is warning citizens about a telephone scam that is taking place in the Treasure Valley, from a news release.

Several Treasure Valley residents have received calls from an unknown number claiming to be with the Warrant and Citation Division with the Meridian Police Department, advising patrons to speak with the caller regarding a legal matter. The caller uses real Meridian Officer names and tells victims they need to pay unpaid fines while on the phone or face arrest.

Although the phone number is not associated with the Meridian Police Department, some caller IDs show that it is the department. The caller will also leave a very official sounding voicemail telling citizens it’s an urgent matter and to call back to a specific phone number that is not the Meridian Police Department.

Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  • The Meridian Police Department will not call you regarding unpaid fines or missed court dates, demanding funds.
  • The Meridian Police Department will not call you and threaten arrest.
  • No governmental agency or legitimate business will ever contact you to pay past due fines and bills using pre-paid gift cards.

If you are a recipient of one of these calls hang up immediately. If you are a victim of fraud please file a police report.

The Federal Trade Commission has a web site to help consumers avoid being a victim of phone scams.  You can find out how to protect yourself from the FTC by clicking the link here.

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