An ongoing phone scam in Oregon seems to be targeting real estate agents and using the name of a Portland Polce Bureau employee.
According to police, two cases with striking similarities were reported in Bend and Eugene. In both reports, the caller claimed to be from the PPB and used the name of a real sergeant. The caller ID showed an actual PPB phone number, but any attempt to call the number back leads to an out of service message, police say.
During the call, the scammer claimed there was a warrant out for the person's arrest, which was not true. The scammer then asked for money to pay bail for the made-up warrant.
Both people who reported these scams to police worked in the real estate industry, according to police.
In a public service announcement to Oregon residents, PPB clarified that it does not call individual people and demand money "under any circumstances." Nor do they — or any other law enforcement agency — call to collect payment on outstanding traffic citations or warrants.
PPB also listed the following tips to help prevent being a victim of a scam:
• Never give personal or financial information to an unsolicited caller or email.
• Be suspicious of callers who demand immediate payment for any reason.
• Regularly update privacy settings for social media sites. (Scammers regularly collect personal information from platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
• Utility companies and government agencies will never contact you for payment by GreenDot, MoneyPak or Vanilla Reload.
• Remember that anyone who has the number on a prepaid card has access to the funds on your card.
Never wire money, provide debit or credit card numbers to a stranger.
If you believe you were a victim of a scam, please call PPB's non-emergency line at (503) 823-3333.
KOIN News 6 is a news partner of the Portland Tribune.
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