Phone scammers pose as fake cops, lie about arrest warrants

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DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) is warning of a scam targeting citizens by fake cops misrepresenting the staff of the DPS.

The DCI has received reports from citizens that scammers are posing as employees of the “Iowa State Police.” The scammers claim there is a warrant issued out of state for the victim, and they say the victim can clear the warrant only if they send money, via an online account such as Google Play account.

Citizens report receiving multiple calls from the same 712 area code phone number. If the citizens do not answer or hang up on the initial call, they report receiving a secondary call that appears to come from “911,” and the callers are verbally aggressive. The scammers claim they are with the “Police” and that they have a warrant for the citizen’s arrest.

If you receive a phone call similar to the one mentioned above, you are asked to contact your local law enforcement and the Iowa Attorney General’s Office Hotline at 515-281-5926 or 888-777-4590.

Listed below are some helpful tips to prevent being targeted by fraudulent phone scams:

  • If you get a call from someone who claims they are collecting money on behalf of the DPS– even if a caller ID device shows the DPS — simply hang up.
  • The DPS never demands immediate payment via prepaid debit cards or online accounts.
  • Do not provide or confirm any personal information or financial information to anyone who calls.

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