DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Department of Public Safety’s Division of Criminal Investigation is warning of a phone scam targeting state residents.
The department says it has received reports that scammers are posing as employees of the “Iowa state police” and claiming there is a warrant issued for the person who receives the call. The caller says that to clear the warrant, the recipient has to send money via an online account, such as Google Play account. People have reported the calls from a number with a 712 area code. If the person doesn’t answer or hangs up on the initial call, a second call comes in from “911,” and the scammers become verbally aggressive and threatening victims with arrest if the money isn’t paid.
The department says its office never calls people to demand immediate payment via prepaid debit cards or online accounts.