Los Angeles: Detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery Homicide Division are investigating several incidents in which a fraudulent caller identified himself by the actual name of a captain employed by the Los Angeles Police Department.
The caller typically informs the victims that they failed to appear for a court hearing and have a warrant for their arrest. The caller instructs the victim to respond to the nearest police station to turn themselves in, or they can pay a fine over the phone by purchasing prepaid debit or gift cards and reading the card numbers over the phone to pay the fines.
The caller may use a variety of tactics to sound credible. They may provide information like badge numbers, case numbers, and names of actual law enforcement officials. They may also provide a phone number that is forwarded to a voicemail message made to sound like an official government entity.
If you are called by someone stating that there is a warrant for your arrest related to missed jury duty, or failure to appear as a witness, do not make any payments to them. Neither the Los Angeles Police Department nor the Superior Court of Los Angeles will ever call a member of the community to request payment of fines for failure to appear for jury duty.
It should be noted that many of the victims are current/former employees in the mental health industry. In each of these incidents, the caller claimed that the victim missed an appearance as an expert witness in a court case. Therapists and psychologists should particularly beware of the scam. You can get help determining the authenticity of a call by contacting your local police station.
Anyone with information regarding this scam is urged to contact Detective C. Marsden or Detective M. Matsuda at (213) 486-6840. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org. Tipsters may also visit ww.lapdonline.org, and click on “Anonymous Web Tips” under the “Get Involved-Crime Stoppers” menu to submit an online tip. Lastly, tipsters may also download the “P3 Tips” mobile application and select the LA Regional Crime Stoppers as their local program.