Marion police chief warns residents of scam
Reports come in of callers spoofing MPD number
firstname.lastname@example.org Marion Police Chief Gary Kelley can’t make it any clearer.
“We will never call anyone asking you to make a payment over the phone,” said Kelley. “Never.”
The chief said there have been reports of some residents receiving calls from what looks like the Marion Police Department’s legitimate phone number, (870) 739-2101, but it’s not them.
“Someone is using our phone number to tell people they have an outstanding warrant or a fine and they need to make a payment over the phone or we’re going to come arrest them,” said Kelley. “And that’s not the case.”
Kelley said that the caller is instructing unsuspecting victims to make a payment over the phone with a credit card or a prepaid Visa or Walmart card or other pre-paid debit card. It’s a common trick used by scammers who will make claims of being from a law enforcement agency, Internal Revenue Service, or a legitimate debt collector.
The chief said one of his officers got a call about the scam earlier this week and reported it. As far as he knows, no one in the community has fallen for the scheme, but he wanted to let residents know that the call, even if it has the MPD’s real phone number, isn’t from them.
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge recently reported a similar scam going on around the state. She recommends asking for any demand for payments be made in writing via the mail, or hanging up and calling the number directly and verifying any debt or money owed.