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Scammers try to get money from people with pending criminal charges

If you get a call from the Oregon State Police saying you can pay to have criminal charges dropped or to clear arrest warrants, don’t fall for it. It’s a scam.

State police reported Friday that at least two people in Oregon have received those types of phone calls offering to take care of some charges and warrants for a fee. A big fee (even though state police did not say how much).

State police Lt. Steve Duvall said the calls are not coming from his office, or any other legitimate law enforcement agency.

“The OSP does not call individuals and demand money from citizens under any circumstances,” Duvall said. “The calls reported to OSP during the past week are consistent with other scams of the same nature that have been reported across the United States.”

Here’s how the scam works: A man with a foreign accent calls someone in Oregon and says he’s an officer or a deputy in the Oregon State Police. The caller ID usually shows that the call originated at 9-1-1.

The caller gives a couple of out-of-state call back numbers and tells the person to call within a certain period of time and arrange payment to clear an arrest warrant or to cancel a pending court appearance.

Anyone receiving these types of calls should not arrange for any payment to anyone. They also should report the call to their local police departments and file a complaint with the Oregon Department of Justice Consumer Protection Office via the Consumer Hotline, 1-877-877-9392 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Complaints also can be filed online at www.doj.state.or.us/consumer/Pages/complaint.aspx.