It’s unfortunate, but it happened.
Charlie Beier, a dentist in Payson, fell for the scam. After all, the male scammer had most of Beier’s contact and personal information.
“You may say that this will never happen to you, but I was shocked at how real this all seemed,” said Beier.
Beier couldn’t believe how easily he was scammed. However, he soon realized that this type of scam has been rampant, especially because the scam appears to be very realistic.
It all started with a voicemail on March 9th when Beier received a message from a Gila County Sheriff’s Deputy.
Beier came home and listened to a very official sounding Chief Deputy Carl Saunders. It noted that he had an outstanding warrant because he failed to appear in court for jury duty. He soon learned more about what his crime entailed.
Beier was fined twice: once for failure to appear for jury summons and the other for contempt of court. Both fines totaled $5,100.
Ultimately, Beier had two options. He could either stay on the line with him while he drove to the Sheriff’s Office for fingerprinting, or he could pay 10% of the fines at a kiosk at the Globe office of the Gila County Sheriff’s Department.
Beier felt pressure, noting that the deputy informed Beier that he had to stay on the phone in order to avoid facing further consequences. Ultimately, keeping Beier on the line was essential to keeping the scam from falling apart.
Beier was instructed to purchase a Green DOT MoneyPak card at either Walgreens or Giant. Since 10% of $5,100 is $510, the deputy informed Beier that the additional $10 will be waived. This, of course, was another indication of the whole thing being a scam.
That’s when Beier finally figured out he was being conned and decided to drive to the police station to see if there were any warrants out for his arrest.
It turns out, of course, that he was clean.
Soon after, the scammer was off the phone. Beier was told that the police department doesn’t just call people to tell them they have a warrant out for their arrest. Furthermore, funds are never exchanged over the phone.
Although Beier may face some ridicule, he felt it necessary to inform others about his situation. This is a very realistic scam on which people need to be educated.
Sure, he may have lost $5.95 and a bit of dignity, but he saved a lot more than that.
In order to avoid this scam, Gila County’s Sheriff suggests that you say you’re personal friends with the sheriff and that you will get back to him (the scammer) right away. That will surely drive the scammer away immediately. If you want to find out whether you actually do have a warrant, it’s always safest to have an attorney look into it so that you can respond to the situation in the best possible way.