Oregon Officials Warn of Traffic Ticket Collection Scam
The Oregon State Patrol and Oregon Department of Justice are warning citizens about a new ticket scam involving traffic citations!
Officials report complaints from people saying they received a pre-recorded message claiming they owed money on an old traffic ticket that must be paid immediately or they faced a bench warrant and possible arrest.
The calls often begin with a siren, and a stern voice issuing a warning about the alleged ticket. People are then instructed to use what is called a Green Dot Money Card to make the payment. From the Oregon State Patrol press release:
The pre-recorded call gave further instructions to purchase a Green Dot MoneyPak reloadable debit card and place $154 on the card, then call back to another phone number in the (203) area code and provide the Green Dot card number and security code to pay the citation and avoid further legal action."
This appears to be a copy or renewal of a November 2012 scam in which criminals posing as Oregon State Patrol officers called unsuspecting citizens demanding money to clear up arrest warrants or drop criminal charges.
Authorities say people facing real court cases or potential charges are the primary targets and the criminals are using some of the new computer programs or cellphone apps that allow criminal records to be accessed by the general public!
Oregon State Police emphasize they will NEVER contact people via phone to demand payment or any other court-related activity. Oregon officials say in rare cases outstanding court debts are sent to collection agencies, but this is only as a last resort. Officials say anyone receiving this voice message should report it immediately.
You may also file a complaint with the Oregon Department of Justice Consumer Protection Office via the Consumer Hotline at 1-877-877-9392 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or complete an online Consumer Complaint Form anytime at http://www.doj.state.or.us/consumer/Pages/complaint.aspx.)