BNPD issues scam alert for community members

News

BENTON, Ark. (News Release) — Benton Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance in getting word out to susceptible individuals to ensure they do not fall victim to a recent phone scam. In the past few weeks, several instances have been reported of scammers calling residents and telling them they have warrants or that the department is coming after them in an effort to get them to send money and “avoid being arrested.”

“Because of the ability of scammers to spoof phone numbers, caller ID may actually show Benton Police Department,” said Captain Kevin Russell. “As more people have grown savvy to their tactics, scam artists are having to up their game, and this is one of the most common methods being used right now to get people to answer.”

He added that BNPD will never call and demand payment for any reason.

“The Records office will occasionally call to advise someone of a warrant or more commonly mail a postcard, but again, BNPD does not ever demand payment. In fact, even though we can accept payment via phone, these calls should always be initiated by the citizen, not BNPD.”

Recent cases have trended toward the elderly falling prey to the scammers’ tactics, so BNPD urges anyone with family members or friends they believe might fall victim to such a scam to discuss with them the importance of not giving out any information via phone.

“Regardless of the number you see on caller ID, we want everyone to be extra cautious with the information you give to the caller,” said Russell. “When in doubt, let them leave a message and always feel free to give us a call before proceeding.”

Russell said in the majority of instances, victims and their relatives have been able to cancel any financial accounts before fraudulent activity could occur, but it might not always be the case, and it can put you in danger for future fraudulent charges or identity theft.

“If you or someone you know does fall victim to this or similar scams, we recommend filing a complaint at www.IC3.gov as well as monitoring accounts closely or even paying for a service to do so. And, of course, if fraudulent charges do appear, always notify your bank as well as Benton Police Department.”

Anyone with questions can contact BNPD at 501-776-5948. You can also stay informed of common scams by following BNPD on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Nextdoor and by downloading the official BNPD app available on iTunes and Google Play.

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