Scammers Begin Using “Fake Warrant” Trick To Defraud Victims

Scammers Begin Using “Fake Warrant” Trick To Defraud Victims


Scammers are always looking for mean-spirited new ways to fleece their victims. Lately, they’ve been turning to more outlandish tactics for bringing in money. Case in point: a new fake warrant scam sees criminals posing as law enforcement in an attempt to get at your hard-earned cash. Here’s what you need to know about this insidious new scam. 

How It Works 

The scam works by the criminals sending unsolicited messages by email to their victims, claiming to have an arrest warrant. They might reach out by phone, too, using classic robocalling techniques to find active phone numbers.

According to experts, some variations of this scheme are troubling because they look extremely convincing. They can even call you using fake numbers to make it look like they’re the local sheriff’s office.

“The issue that we have is that it has their air of credibility because it has the court’s seal, judge’s name on it and appears to come from the sheriff’s office. It’s very convincing,” explains Bucks County, Pennsylvania’s District Attorney, Matt Weintraub.

Bucks County has had to contend with a troublesome amount of these scams, with many locals in the area reporting that they’ve been targeted.

What They Want

While this scheme’s particulars are unique, the criminals want the same thing every crook wants. They ask their victims to forward them money in the form of gift cards to deal with outstanding “court fees” they claim their victims owe. This is because criminals don’t want to give away any identifying information like their bank account numbers or arrange to meet in person for cash. 

Gift card codes are perfect for scammers because they can use them to buy whatever they want without being tracked by law enforcement. If you ever find yourself in a stressful situation and you’re being pressured by unknown parties to purchase gift cards, take a deep breath and review the facts.

How To Spot It

If you want to know how to spot a scam like this, just wait until someone starts asking you for money in the form of gift cards. That’s a tell-tale sign that you’re dealing with a scammer. They’ll try to explain away why this is the case, but it’s immediately a sign that they’re messing with you and trying to get your money when they only want you to pay them with a gift card.

Once you hear those magic words, it’s time to hang up the phone and call the authorities to report the scammer.