By Keith McCoy
City Police 3
A Mountain Brook resident fell victim to a telephone scam, after receiving a phone call from someone claiming to be a representative from the U.S. Marshal Service.
The caller reportedly told the resident that they were under arrest for not coming to court and money was owed for unpaid fines, and that the U.S. Marshal Service does not accept cash or credit cards as payment. The resident was then told to purchase iTunes gift cards or MoneyPak cards, which are prepaid cash cards, to pay the fines.
They made multiple transactions, as each time the resident attempted to pay the “fine,” the caller said the card did not work, and another would need to be purchased. In total, card information for $14,575.20 was provided over the telephone to the suspect.
“This is the second similar type scam reported in the last week,” said the community update.
Law enforcement will not try to recover money sent over the phone or via email through MoneyPak, iTunes gift cards or other similar cards, according to the update, and individuals should not give any financial information over the phone or meet with anyone to pay fines.
“If you are contacted and told that you have fines or have a warrant for your arrest, you should contact the agency or court (using a published telephone number) and verify the claim and proceed accordingly,” according to the update. The same caution should be applied if you receive a call saying there is a family member in jail, asking for bond money or unpaid power bills.
Police also reported two arrests following traffic stops. On March 25, a pistol was found in a car with no license to carry, and a woman was arrested. On March 29, a man was arrested when “a substance believed to be heroin” was located in the car, according to the report.
Also in the update, police reported multiple instances of forgery. On March 22, there were two reports of individuals trying to get a cash advance using a fraudulent credit card. In both instances, the suspect was arrested, according to the update. On March 29, another suspect tried to get a $400 cash advance on a fake credit card. She was arrested as well.
Multiple residents also reported identity theft. One victim’s information was used during the month of February to open a Sprint phone account, another’s information was used between March 23 and 25 to open a Verizon phone account.
Another individual’s credit card information was used to place an online order for $2177.88. The order was to be delivered in Georgia, according to the update.
Other incidents reported included two hit and runs, two instances of harassment, the theft of a bike and criminal mischief.