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Posted on: May 24, 2021

Scam Alert: Callers Impersonating Bothell Police

word "scam" on screen next to land line phone

Bothell Police is warning residents to be on alert for callers fraudulently claiming to work for Bothell Police.

As we investigate these suspected scammers, please remember: Bothell Police will never call you and demand that you make a payment over the phone, or share sensitive information to verify your identity.

In at least one of these cases,  the caller claimed to be an “agent” with Bothell Police.  In another reported case, the caller said told a resident that he was calling about an “urgent” issue – and used the name of an actual officer:  Sergeant Rogers.

 The real Sergeant John Rogers, who oversees the Bothell Police traffic unit,  is not happy someone is trying to scam residents by impersonating him.

“I’m getting a lot of phone calls from people,” said Sgt. Rogers.   

The good news is, many of those people avoided becoming a victim,  by calling Bothell Police before giving in to the scammer’s demands.

But many people do fall victim, and it’s a growing problem, with 75% of Americans surveyed reporting that they were targeted by scammers in 2020.

“This is happening everywhere,” said Captain Susy Johnson. “This isn’t just happening in Bothell.”

Across the country, there are so many recent scams, much of the Federal Trade Commission’s website is dedicated to regularly-updated education about scams.   

Education is important, because scammers are becoming more sophisticated.  For example, many scammers have learned how to manipulate caller ID systems.  So – don’t trust your caller ID.

“And when you’re trying to verify a caller’s identity, don’t use the phone number they give you,” said Captain Johnson. “Hang up.  Look up the number yourself and then call and actually speak with the person who supposedly made the call.  It’s not enough to simply make sure that someone with that name works at the department or agency.  Those names can often be found on a website and used by anyone.”  

Armed with the names of familiar people and departments, scammers seek to gain your trust.  And they often try to convince you that action must be taken immediately.  They might say things like, “This is your last warning.”

Don’t fall for it.   Don’t share your bank or sensitive identity information over the phone.

If you are contacted by someone who claims to be with Bothell Police -- you can always reach out to us through our non-emergency line: 425-486-1254.   You can also file online reports with Bothell Police.

Phone scams can have financially devastating consequences.  As you learn more about how to avoid becoming a scam victim,  remember to share the information with friends and family members.

If you would like someone from Bothell Police to speak with your neighborhood or organization about crime prevention, email our Community Engagement Coordinator: cam.johnson@bothellwa.gov  

  

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