Phone scammers make it appear their calls are from Boise police

Con artists warning people they have an outstanding arrest warrant are calling from what appears to be a legitimate phone number registered to the Boise Police Department.

The scammers are replacing their true phone number with one that comes over the telephone company Caller ID service as one that belongs to the police department. They claim the recipient has a warrant out for the person’s arrest over a payday loan and that Boise police will come to arrest them unless they pay the money they say is owed.

Neither the Boise Police Department nor any other legitimate law enforcement agency would call anyone and demand money.

Individuals can go online and determine whether a legitimate arrest warrant exists. The same information can be obtained by contacting the records department at the Ada County Sheriff’s Office at 577-3000.

Boise police offer the following tips to avoid being a victim of a phone scam:

▪  If you pick up a call and hear a ringing noise that automatically connects you to a live person, oftentimes it’s an auto-dialer. If you determine it’s a scam, hang up and report the activity.

▪  Be wary of calls with unknown area codes and unknown numbers.

▪  Do not give out personal information.

▪  Never give out bank account information or a credit, debit or pre-paid cash card number over the phone. Individuals claiming to collect debts may try to instill fear in potential victims to persuade them to send money.

▪  Do not call numbers back left by solicitors or respond to calls with unfamiliar area codes. Instead, verify the number and call back a published number from the phone book or web page.