FBI Cautions Wyomingites of “Strip Search” Phone Scam
Written by Andrew-Rossi on January 3, 2022
There’s another phone scam that could soon plague Wyoming, is already plaguing Colorado, and is nefarious enough to have the attention of the F.B.I.
The F.B.I. Denver Division is warning Colorado and Wyoming residents about a phone scam where people pose as local law enforcement officials and call potential victims regarding outstanding warrants or fines, asking them for payment to clear the victim’s name.
The scam is primarily targeting women with lucrative careers who have an online presence.
“The F.B.I. warns citizens that if they receive a phone call from someone claiming to be law enforcement asking for money or gift cards, to hang up and report it to their local law enforcement authorities and the F.B.I.,” said F.B.I. Denver Division Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider.
Between 2016 to 2021, more than 300 women in Larimer County, Colorado, have been scammed. Another 100 women were scammed in Denver from 2017 to 2021.
The scammers use spoofed law enforcement phone numbers, along with the names, positions, and addresses of real, local officers.
The following is a list of suspicious activity to look out for related to this scam.
- Calls from local law enforcement stating:
- An individual has fines for outstanding warrants.
- The court is holding the individual in contempt for failure to appear for jury duty.
- An individual has been placed under a “gag order” and cannot speak with anyone else regarding the matter.
- Demands that you remain on the line until the “bond” is paid.
- Requests for monetary gift cards (MoneyPak/green dot etc.) bank deposits, and voucher purchases to clear court fines or avoid jail time.
- Requests for videos or pictures of individuals conducting a personal strip search of themselves to clear court fines or avoid jail time.
- Callers have been described as having a Southern accent.
Park County has been the target of many phone scams, including those where scammers impersonate officers threatening arrest or fines.
In November 2020, another scam tried to get money from Park County residents by threatening them with jail time. Scammers posed as employees of the Park County Sheriff’s Office, using the Sheriff’s actual phone number. The scammer demanded cash or gift cards from the victim to avoid arrest.
Please remember, law enforcement will never call you if you have an arrest warrant for missing jury duty, nor will they ask you to send money to clear a warrant. Lastly, they will never ask you to send pictures or videos of yourself for any reason.