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Healthcare workers cautioned to avoid scam

Scammer threatens arrest
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Posted at 10:06 PM, Apr 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-16 22:06:11-04

LAFAYETTE -- At a time when they may be working harder than at any point in their careers, one of the last things a healthcare worker needs is to be the victim of a scam.

But that's exactly what some unscrupulous people are trying to pull off.

The warning comes from the Lafayette Police Department, but there have been reports of the scam attempt all over the country.

It goes like this. Healthcare workers, therapists, and psychologists are getting calls saying they failed to appear as an expert witnesses at a trial and now face arrest unless they pay a bond immediately while they are still on the phone.

According to Lafayette Police Lt. Matt Gard, the victim is then often told to go to a store and obtain a pre-paid debit card or a gift card, and are directed to give the scammer the numbers on the card.

The scammer often will use the name of a legitimate officer with an agency to provide themselves with some legitimacy if the victim tries to research the officer’s name. Victims in these cases often times will be out several thousand dollars before realizing it was a scam.

Variations of the scam have been around for years. "We want to stress that no law enforcement agency will call demanding money be paid for missing a court date of any sort," said Gard. "If you receive a call of this nature contact your local law enforcement agency. Do not call back any number provided to you by the suspected scammer."