The Johnston Police Department wants to alert residents of a phone scam that has been taking place in and around the metropolitan area, and most recently in Johnston. On May 7th the Johnston Police Department took a report from a Johnston resident who received a call at their home from someone claiming to be affiliated with the Polk County Sheriff’s Department. The caller told the resident that there was a warrant out for her arrest and that she would have to pay the associated fine or she would be arrested and taken to jail. The caller informed the resident that the fine amount would need to be paid with “Green Dot” cards and brought to the Polk County court house that same day. Once the resident obtained the cards the caller instructed her to read him the numbers on the back of the cards so he could start processing the paperwork on it and have everything ready for her when she arrived at the court house. When the resident showed up at the court house, she learned that the call was fraudulent and that several other people had already shown up at the court house ahead of her after falling victim to the same scam.
The suspect(s) in this scam were familiar with the victims address and had used the names of an actual Deputy Sheriff employee when identifying themselves on the phone. The suspect(s) also provided the victims with fictitious phone numbers that rang into a voice mail indicating the caller had reached the Polk County Sheriff’s Department.
The Johnston Police Department wants the community to be cognizant of this scam and encourages residents be suspicious of any unsolicited phone call you should happen receive where the caller is requesting money or other personal or financial information. If you should receive such a call, the Johnston Police Department recommends that you do not provide the caller with any information until you can confirm the call is legitimate and verify that the caller is directly affiliated with the organization they claim to be representing.