The Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Office is warning all residents to beware of a phone scam that has been occurring throughout the county. The Sheriff's Office has fielded reports from citizens concerned over phone calls they have received from subjects identifying themselves as an officer.
In these calls, the subject reportedly attempts to solicit money from the victims. One Brunswick resident was scammed for over $20,000.
Therefore, the Sheriff’s Office is disseminating this information to prevent additional victims from falling for this scam.
The victim is usually instructed to purchase a Green Dot card from Wal-Mart, loaded with the amount of the "fine." The victim is then asked to either take a picture of the card and text or email it, or to call back with the number. These scammers can be very persistent and intimidating. They may use legal/law enforcement jargon in combination with easily obtainable personal information about a victim to coerce them into believing they are speaking with an actual law enforcement officer.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations released warnings about this type of scam dating back as early as 2005. While the details may differ as the scam runs from area to area, the end result is the same: a victim is deceived into giving valuable and potentially harmful information to an unknown source.
Anyone receiving a call of this nature is encouraged to refrain from completing any transaction and to contact the sheriff’s office 266-1985 or local police department.