State Police Urge Caution Over Phone Scam


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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Rhode Island State Police are warning residents to remain cautious as a phone scam seeks payment for fake fines.

The scammer has posed as an employee of the Rhode Island Sheriffs, giving a false name and rank before claiming the victim has missed a court date or failed to answer a subpoena.

After claiming that an arrest warrant has been issued, the caller will claim the victim can avoid an arrest through paying a fine, often in excess of $5,000. 

The victim is then instructed to purchase a gift card in the amount of the fine and mail it to an address in Washington, D.C.

Superintendent of Rhode Island State Police Colonel James M. Manni and Chief Sheriff David M. DeCesare wish to remind residents that while the Division of Sheriffs may call to serve summonses or writs, it does not seek to arrange payments of fines over the phone.

Anyone who has questions regarding a suspicious call can contact the Division of Sheriffs at 401-275-2900.

©WLNE-TV/ABC6 2019