Sheriff's Office warns of telephone scam

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KEARNEY, Neb. -- The Buffalo County Sheriff’s Office would like to warn local area residents to beware of a telephone arrest warrant scams that is occurring in Kearney / Buffalo County as well as the Lincoln / Lancaster County area.

Local law enforcement in Kearney / Buffalo County have received reports of persons receiving calls from individuals identifying themselves as local law enforcement officials. These callers appear to be impersonating law enforcement officials by using the name(s) of actual law enforcement supervisors of the either the Buffalo County Sheriff’s Office or Kearney Police Department. In some of these cases, the caller impersonating the law enforcement official will tell the person there is a warrant for their arrest and they are asked to transfer money in order for the warrant to no longer be valid. In another case the caller appeared be asking for personal information about family members for an unknown reason.

If you receive such a call, person can ask vetting questions of the law enforcement official(s). Such questions may include if they know the name of other local law enforcement officers, alternate call back local telephone numbers, or local procedural questions regarding things such as court locations, procedural questions, etc. In some instances during this vetting process an imposter or illegitimate scammer will become frustrated and hang up. Under no circumstances should you send money or agree to send money on-line to an uncorroborated governmental entity for the purpose of paying a fine or recalling or voiding an arrest warrant.

Scams of this and similar nature have been around for some time and additional information on this and other scams can be found on various legitimate government and news media internet sites. While there may be various versions of the telephone arrest warrant scam, the purpose is to illegally scam and solicit money from the unsuspecting victims. The scam is usually perpetrated with a telephone call to an unsuspecting victim. The caller will identify themselves as a law enforcement official and often use the name of a local law enforcement agency and/or local law enforcement officer. The calls may also be left on telephone answering machines or voice mailboxes. The caller will inform the victim that they have an open or active arrest warrant or bench warrant for their arrest. They will further inform the person that in order to satisfy the warrant or have the warrant withdrawn that a monetary payment must be made by some sort of money gram or pre-paid financial device.

Citizens should be warned that should they receive calls of this nature, they are in all likelihood a scam. Legitimate Law Enforcement agencies and officers do not operate in this manner for serving arrest warrants. These illegal scammers often times may that the technology to have a false caller ID appear which appears to be coming from a local number or area code. Local law enforcement officers have been asked to document all reports of suspected law enforcement impersonator scams for investigation.

Persons who receive a telephone call of a suspected telephone arrest warrant scam or any other type of scam are encouraged to contact their local law enforcement agency. Citizens may also report this or any other suspected type of scams by accessing the Nebraska State Attorney General’s Office website under their Consumer Protection Division.