Scams This Week 7/26/22

July 26, 2022

Fear-based scams create a sense of urgency, which makes it easier for scammers to quickly get paid. They commonly use threats like arrest or fines.

Warrant scams have been around for quite some time but much like fashion, it continues to evolve and come back around. Here are a few examples of ways scammers, usually posing as someone from a federal agency or local law enforcement, can trick you out of your money.


Social Security Warrant Scams: For the last several years we were receiving messages that our social security number was used in another state to rent a vehicle that was involved in a crime. In order to stop legal proceedings, the scammer says you must pay certain fines and fees.

Jury Duty Warrant Scams: More recently the calls are stating the warrants are for failure to appear for Jury duty, either Federal or State. These, like most others, start with the recorded message call saying that legal action will be taken or a warrant for your arrest has been issued, and to call this number to discuss.  The scammers will often research local law enforcement agencies and find the name of a real Captain or Detective from a local news story and assume that identity.

Phone numbers will be “spoofed.” This way scammers can make their numbers look like they are local. Det. Thorne has had his own desk number call his desk phone because scammers were using his work phone number to try and scam others. Scammers are also using text messages now. The idea of missing Jury Duty, being indirectly involved in a crime,  or making a tax mistake is plausible and induces panic.   If someone is panicked enough when they talk to the scammer, they will want to find a way out of the “warrant,” which the scammer will convince them is by sending money.


  • The typical initial contact for jury duty is through the mail.
  • Law enforcement will NOT call to threaten arrest or request payment. No legitimate agency would ever take payment, as that would be a bribe.
  • Neither State nor Federal Courts will require anyone to provide sensitive information in a call or email.
  • If Gift Cards are brought up as payment in any call at any time it is a scam!
  • If you are concerned that you did actually miss jury duty, hang up look and call the clerk of courts. If you were contacted by someone posing as Boise Police or any other agency hang up, look up the number to that agency, and call. Never call the number provided on the phone call or provided by the would-be scammer.

Find more scam prevention tips on our website.

You can add Det. Thorne on Facebook or follow @DetThorneBPD on Twitter.

Contact: Boise Police Media Relations

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