Alabaster police warn of phone scam

Published 3:45 pm Tuesday, October 30, 2012

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The Alabaster Police Department is warning city residents about a telephone scam in which callers claim to be police officers and threaten to arrest residents for unpaid loan debts.

Alabaster Police Chief Curtis Rigney said the department has received about six calls over the past several days from concerned residents reporting the phone scam.

“There’s no telling how many people have received those calls,” Rigney said.

Through the scam, the call appears to come from the Alabaster Police Department’s number, which is 663-7401. When a person answers the phone, the caller claims to be an Alabaster police officer and threatens to arrest the victim if they do not pay off a certain amount of loan debt within a matter of hours after the call.

“They use a method called spoofing to make it appear that they are calling from the police department’s number,” Rigney said. “We have been assuring people that it is not us calling them.

“It’s a scam. Alabaster has nothing to do with the calls,” Rigney added. “The police department doesn’t arrest anyone for not paying a bill.”

Rigney said the department has been investigating the calls, and has taken reports from affected citizens.

“It’s my understanding that it’s a difficult thing to stop,” Rigney said.

A post on the police department’s page warned residents to not give money to the scammers.

“We are currently looking into ways we can prevent this. In the meantime, please ignore any calls of this type that you may receive,” read the post.