Posts Tagged arrest
By Terry Wright/Hunterdon County Democrat
on September 24, 2013 at 1:46 PM, updated September 24, 2013 at 3:14 PM
FLEMINGTON – If you get a call from a man claiming you can avoid arrest on a warrant by buying a Green Dot debit card and providing its P.I.N. to the caller, don’t bite.
It’s a scam, according to Detective Michael Mariaschin of the Flemington police.
The racket involves supposedly ignoring a ticket for running a red light and being caught by an automatic camera.
Similar scams have been reported elsewhere across the country, some supposedly from law enforcement and others involving threats to shut off gas or electricity unless a bill is paid.
A husband and wife who live in the borough lost $365 in the scam Monday, Mariaschin reported today. There was also an unsuccessful attempt to defraud another person, he said. Patrolman Louis Hribik took the initial reports.
The caller says he’s a lieutenant in the Hunterdon County Sheriff’s Office and has an arrest warrant because the person he called did not show up in court to answer the supposed red-light ticket, Mariaschin explained. The “warrant” is for $365.
The “officer” says the person named in the warrant can avoid arrest by purchasing a Green Dot card — which can be done over the phone or online — then calling the “officer” back and providing the authorization number. The “officer” can then withdraw the money from the account.
Law enforcement officers of any type don’t tell people to provide money card information to avoid arrest. Besides that, Flemington has no red-light cameras, Mariaschin noted.
Normally sheriff’s officers go out in person to serve an arrest warrant, said Sheriff Fred Brown, who was informed of the scam last night. Occasionally, if they know the person being sought has been arrested before on a non-support warrant, for example, and is wanted again, an officer might call the person “and tell him to come in to the office and take care of it.”
But the money has to be paid in person, not over the phone, he emphasized.
Mariaschin and Brown have this simple advice: if you get such a call asking you to pay something by card this way, don’t pay but immediately call the police, the Sheriff’s Office at 908-788-1166 or the Prosecutor’s Office at 908-788-1129.
A person receiving this type of call should not send money nor buy any electronic account cards, Brown warned.
Mariaschin has the phone number of the person who was making the calls and is tracking the man down. ‘I hope to make an arrest” soon, he said.
The Green Dot Corp. has posted on its website tips about avoiding fraud.