Boston police have issued a warning about a phone scam targeting elderly residents that asks them to “clean up” arrest warrants by paying fines with gift cards or a prepaid credit card.
The scam involves an unknown caller claiming to be an employee of the Suffolk County Reformatory, who asks victims to pay a fine with prepaid gift cards, Boston police said in a statement Tuesday.
the The scammer also claims that a family member of the victim is being held hostage and will suffer damages if he does not send the caller money via prepaid credit cards or gift cards, according to the press release.
The caller is specifically requesting payment by prepaid credit cards and gift cards, police said, because transactions on those cards are untraceable.
Boston police are urging users of prepaid credit cards and gift cards to never give out their card numbers because scammers can drain the funds from the cards with no way to return the money to the original owner.
Anyone who receives a call requesting payment by prepaid credit card, or a call claiming that a loved one is in danger, is urged to disobey the caller and contact local law enforcement.
People can report fraudulent calls to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484, or submit anonymous tips to Boston police by calling their tip line at 1(800) 494 -TIPS or by sending the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463).
Katie Redefer can be contacted at [email protected]