Scam Alert For Multiple Agencies - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Scam Alert For Multiple Agencies

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By: Claire Powell


Within the last week, multiple fraudulent scam attempts have been made on Iowans.

Starting late last week, the Iowa Judicial Branch says they've received emails and calls from concerned Iowans about an email they've received. The emails demanded payments and personal information and in exchange, they would not be legally prosecuted or charged more money.

Steve Davis, of the Iowa Judicial Branch, says these are most definitely fake.

"These are all official looking emails that are intimidating. If you don't have contact with the judicial branch, you don't know what the forms look like," said Davis.

Davis added the judicial branch never sends emails unless that person has registered and trained with them to e-file their documents. In that case, the person would know what the documents look like and would realize that they're being scammed.

"We'll never ask for you to call a phone number, download a document or to send your Social Security Number," said Davis. "So the best bet in our minds was to warn people about it."

On Monday morning, the Polk County Sheriff's Office said they started receiving complaints about fraud phone calls.

The number beginning with the prefix *515-203 claimed to be with the sheriff's office and asked people to pay their outstanding debt to the county.

"People were being told they had outstanding traffic tickets and being told they needed to go get a money order or Green Card and call back in," said Sergeant Brent Long, Polk County Sheriff's Office.

Those green cards, such as Green Dot or MoneyPak, are almost untraceable and that's why the scammer wants that payment.  

"They're asking up to several hundred dollars at a time telling them if they didn't pay that money they would be arrested on a warrant and obviously the Polk County Sheriff's Office doesn't work that way," said Sgt. Long.

So far, only one person has actually paid money through the green card. However, over 20 complaints have been filed between both agencies and both say do not fall for this trick.  

"Our investigators are trying to work on this case very quickly because we don't want people to be scammed out of their money," said Sgt. Long.

If anyone receives a call similar to this, Sgt. Long said to call the sheriff's office immediately at, (515) 286-3333. He also said if you answer the scammers' call, ask for an officers number and the case number to verify the information.


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