The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind everyone law enforcement nor any other government agency will NOT call and ask for any type of prepaid credit cards, ITunes cards, personal banking information or any other payment like this over the phone. These calls are scams. Please, if you happen to believe the story for some reason, contact your local law enforcement agency or the agency represented during the call by obtaining an independently verified phone number. DO NOT call the number provided during the call. You will only be calling the scammer back. Do not fall prey to these scammers; investigate and verify before you ever provide financial information to anyone you don’t know and trust.
On June 20, 2016, Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Ron Nye contacted a victim who had been scammed out of $40,000. The 86-year-old victim told Deputy Nye he received a phone call from a person who sounded like, and claimed to be, a family member who lives in British Columbia. The person called from (514)546-9393, which is a Montreal, Quebec phone number.
The scammer claimed he needed $40,000 to pay a bond to get out of jail and asked if the victim could help. The scammer told the victim he needed to purchase $40,000 in ITunes gift cards to pay the bond amount. The victim said the person sounded like his family member, so he went to different stores purchasing ITunes gift cards for the amount of $500 each.
The victim talked to a different person during another phone call claiming to be a police officer in Canada named Todd Wilson. The victim was told to read all the numbers off the back of the cards and the victim complied.
While Deputy Nye was talking to the victim, the scammers called back and told the victim “the judge” wouldn’t accept $40,000 and they now needed another $10,000. When Deputy Nye got on the phone and identified himself to the scammer, the line was quickly disconnected.
Deputy Nye contacted an Apple representative, explained the fraud and asked if Apple could assist the victim. The Apple representative said they would try to help and they had called the victim back prior to Deputy Nye leaving. Deputy Nye also emailed a copy of his report to the Apple Law Enforcement and Fraud Department.
This scam is very similar to the old “Grandparents Scam” where a person calls stating they’re a grandchild and are in jail. They convince the grandparent, who only wants to help, to pay for the bond to get them released.
The scammer’s stories change and adapt as information gets out to the public. Please investigate and independently verify everything before you provide financial information to anyone you don’t personally know and trust.