Shoreline police warn residents about phone scam

Friday, May 29, 2020

Shoreline police are not calling you!
Photo by Steven H. Robinson

Thursday, the Shoreline Police Department  was inundated with phone calls about someone calling residents saying he was Lt. Travis Pitch, with the Shoreline Police Department. 

He claims to have an urgent legal matter that he needs to discuss with them. 

If the resident calls back or talks to him, he tells them they have missed a summons of some kind and there is a warrant out for their arrest.

He tells them they need to take care of it by paying a fine by either gift cards, wiring money, or some other means, sometimes bitcoin.

The number he is calling from, 206-492-8491, comes back to an internet phone line.

Police are looking into this. In the meantime, please be aware this is a scam!

There's a version of the same scam where the caller claims to be from a utility and says your power will be shut off because you missed a payment. That one is particularly potent under the current circumstances. Utilities won't call - they will flood you with mailed reminders and try to work something out with you.

In another version, the caller will tell you that you missed jury duty and you have to pay a fine immediately or you will be arrested.

What they are all counting on is scaring you enough that you act before thinking. The people calling the police Thurday were aware enough to check it out. If you didn't call the police and did get caught, see if you can stop the payment and then file a police report.

--Diane Hettrick


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