New scam uses law enforcement to trick people out of money, investigators warn

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MOGADORE, Ohio (WJW) – Mogadore police are warning residents about a new scam where the perpetrators are actually utilizing law enforcement to help trick people into giving them money.

According to Officer Johnnie Slayton, here’s how it works.

Someone calls, texts, emails, mails or sends a notice through a delivery service “notifying” the person that a warrant has been issued for their arrest and that they will go to jail if they don’t pay them an undetermined amount of money.

“A lot of these are saying you owe on a bill and now there is a warrant for your arrest,” Slayton said.

The scammer then calls police and asks for a welfare check on that victim, so that when officers arrive at the home, it will convince the resident that the warrant is real. 

“They will call pretending they’re family members wanting a welfare check on their family, saying they haven’t heard from them in some time, so officers are getting dispatched to go to their homes,” said Slayton.

The scammers tell victims that the warrant will be dismissed if they pay them money.

It’s a despicable crime, says Slayton, because they’re targeting the elderly and those who are most vulnerable, including an 80-year-old woman recently. 

“The scammer posed as a relative and said, ‘I need a welfare check,’” said Slayton, “But police were able to talk to her and she didn’t lose any money but all too often in goes the other way.”

Mogadore Police posted a warning about the scam on Facebook and want all residents to remember that warrants are not generally issued for late bills. They said police would never call someone and demand money to dismiss a real warrant.

“That’s not how we do business,” said Slayton.

But their department and others do actively go after scammers, especially those who are stealing from those most vulnerable and pulling officers away from real emergencies.

“When things like this happen, it eats away at the trust between the public and the police department,” said Slayton.

If anyone suspects they’ve been a victim of the scam, they should call their local police department and file a report.

The public is also asked to please let their friends and family (especially elderly or those who are home bound) know to call their local police department before paying anyone money.

Slayton says no credible agency or business takes only gift cards as payment. 

People should look up the number themselves and to never use the number that was included in the correspondence they received from the scammer.

Mogador’s local non-emergency number is 330-633-4404. 

People are also welcome to stop by the police station and speak with an officer.

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