Scammers using scare tactics on locals - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Scammers using scare tactics on locals

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TRI-CITIES, WA - If you've received a call lately from someone asking for money and claiming to be from the police, you may have been a part of a phone scam.

Reporter Karly Tinsley spoke with one local woman who has not only gotten calls, but emails as well.

Linda Poirier has been the target of several scams over the last few weeks. The most recent one happened just two days ago when she got a call from someone claiming to be from the Sheriff's Office.

"'This is Scott Smith with the Benton County Sheriff's Office and we have two warrants out for your arrest that just came into our office,'' Poirier said that the scammer had told her.

Poirier says he had all her personal information correct. He even had a case number for her and the name of a judge at the Benton County Courts.

"Judge Cameron Mitchell signed these warrants for your arrest, he signed them on August 14th because you did not appear."

So she called the Benton County Sheriff's Office, and sure enough, there was no Scott Smith that worked there. She decided to call that number back to see what the scammer would say.

The number she called was no longer working.

Poirier wants this to be a lesson for senior citizens, who seem to be the target group of these scams.

"Number one, if a Benton County Sherriff's person or pretends to be a sheriff that says they have information on warrants, there's no way that a phone call would be made."

Also, never give out personal information over the phone, and if they ever ask you to pay in gift cards, it's a scam.

These scammers aren't just calling, they're sending emails. Some that Poirier received said things like "in order to keep this out of court you can pay 200 dollars each week until it's paid in full."

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