BEND, OR -- Bend Police received multiple reports Wednesday from people receiving calls or emails from someone claiming to be from the department. They use the names of real officers, including Captain Nick Parker and Deputy Chief Paul Kansky, and demand the victim pay a fine for missing a court date.
BPD reminds everyone the agency is not in charge of court dates, and will never demand money over the phone, especially with gift cards, Bitcoin, payments through Zelle or other apps, or other unconventional forms of payment.
If you receive an email or phone call like this, BPD says please do not provide any personal information or money. Hang up and call nonemergency dispatch at 541-693-6911 to report the incident.
A few reminders of how to protect yourself from scams:
- Scammers almost always operate under pressure – there is a problem or a prize, and scammers will push you to act quickly to solve the problem or claim the prize. As a consumer, you should slow down and take your time. Take a moment to think about what the person is asking of you and to do some research.
- Scammers will want you to pay in a certain way that legitimate agencies or businesses would never require. A sign that it is a scam? They’re asking you to provide money in the form of gift cards, cryptocurrency or wire transfer. Others will send you a check, ask you to deposit it and send them the money.
- Scammers typically pretend to be from an organization you know – Medicare, Social Security Administration, etc. They may spoof a phone number to show that organization’s name, or create an email address that looks very similar to an official one. Ask to call back, or examine the email address to see if it’s real.
- Never give your personal or financial information in a call or other contact that you did not initiate. Don’t click on links in a text or email. Call the actual organization or bank back and ask whether the organization contacted you.
- And if you’ve been a victim of a scam, report it to the Federal Trade Commission at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. Call Bend Police, who can advise you of your rights and provide you with additional resources.