The phone rings.
Caller: Is this *your name*?
You: Yes it is.
Caller: This is an officer from the Pacific Grove Police Department. I’m calling because a warrant has been issued for your arrest. If you don’t pay the fine to clear up the warrant you’re going to be arrested. Can you pay with a card or wire transfer?
Now, the question is, what do you do?
The answer: Hang up.
As a law abiding citizen we understand you will find this call alarming and want to clear it up as soon as possible, but we will never ever ever call you to pay for a warrant over the phone, we promise. If someone is calling and claiming to be from the Pacific Grove Police Department (or any other agency) and demanding that you pay in order to avoid being arrested, it is a scam. Warrants cannot be handled over the phone, and if you are concerned you might have one you can call the Monterey County Sheriff’s Department at 831-755-3700 to verify and receive instruction on how to handle it.
There are variations of this scam, sometimes the caller will tell you that you missed your jury summons or that you had a minor infraction resulting in a fine. Even if the caller knows details about you, such as your address, that doesn’t mean they are who they say they are. In this day and age it is not that difficult to find information about someone online and, unfortunately, scammers will use this to their advantage. Just hang up and do not confirm any information to them.
If someone is asking for personal information and/or payment over the phone, don’t be afraid to let them know you will call them right back after verifying their phone number. Hang up and go to their official website to get the number and make sure you’re actually talking to someone with the agency. As discussed in a previous post, scammers are able to “spoof” a number so it looks like you’re getting a call from a different number, so it is best to always call back yourself.
We've recently had reports of these scammers targeting the area. Please help us to get the word out by sharing this information.