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New phone scam poses as a Fairbanks Police Officer

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 4:09 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Fairbanks Police Department (FPD) is reporting a new telephone scam making the rounds in the community.

The caller identifies himself as Deputy Chief Richard Sweet. The victim is then led to believe that they have an outstanding warrant or missed court appearance.

They are then told to buy gift cards and give the card’s code information over the phone.

These types of calls are being seen in Ketchikan and Juneau as well.

According to Sweet, the scammers are using “spoof” numbers, in some cases using the actual number from his desk phone. He said, “Google offers, and some of the other services offer what’s called ‘spoof numbers.’ You can pick any number from any area code that you want. Why they do that, I don’t know, but you can pick that. So you may see 907 numbers. Like I said, we’ve also seen numbers from the police department that are legitimate numbers here. In fact, they’re my numbers at times.”

But Sweet stressed that “at no time will any police officer anywhere call you and tell you the way to get out of a warrant is for you to go to a store and pay them money over the phone.”

If you receive a call like this, FPD urges you to hang up the phone and call the police station at (907) 450-6500 to verify if the call is legitimate.

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