DOUGLASS (BERKS) PA – If you’re an alleged scam artist, it’s probably not a good idea to argue with a police officer who’s investigating calls you’ve made to a local resident. That’s apparently what happened, though, on Saturday (Sept. 16, 2017) between a member of the Douglass (Berks) Township Police Department and a representative of a seemingly phony law firm said to be based in New York state.
A caller claiming to be an attorney’s associate dialed a township residence Saturday morning and claimed its occupants owed $2,700 on a payday loan that was taken out in 2014. Couldn’t be, the residents replied; they never obtained a payday loan. Must have the wrong party.
Then the supposed scammer’s story changed, according to a post on the department’s Facebook page. It was a relative who fraudulently took out the loan, using the residents’ information. They’d better ante up now, the self-labeled associate threatened. If they’d make a $500 payment today, police said the caller promised, “this will all go away and they wouldn’t be forced to put a lien on their home.”
The residents weren’t fooled. They hung up. They called the department. The police returned a call to the toll-free number the residents had been given. Then the real fireworks began.
Someone answered the phone. The officer provided a case number cited by the associate to the residents, and the associate’s name. The associate “would not give the officer any information,” the post noted. In fact, the party at the other end of the police call “became angry and belligerent with the officer, and threatened that the resident would be served papers on Tuesday.”
It’s a safe bet Douglass police aren’t holding their breath waiting for that to happen.
In the meantime, they’ve warned the public that if anyone receives “a phone call like this or similar to this, hang up and report it to us. Do not give them any information or payment.”
Photo from Google Images