How to Handle Scam Phone Calls

  • How do I know it’s a scam call?
  • What actions should I take when scammers call me?
  • How can scammers make their calls appear legitimate?
  • Can I refuse to answer questions during these calls?
  • Can scammers be reported to law enforcement? Does law enforcement take action?

Scammers know that your registry status offers them an opportunity to take money from you. At some point, you will receive a phone call from a scammer. The call will probably look real, sound real, and is likely to scare you the first time this happens to you.

It is a scam. Law enforcement is NOT calling you. 

  • Law enforcement does not call and warn you when they have a warrant for your arrest. 
  • Law enforcement does not call and ask you for money.
  • Law enforcement does not need another DNA sample from you.
  • Law enforcement knows where you live and they will come get you if they want you.
  • This caller is not law enforcement.

What should I do when scammers call?

You have some choices: Listen to them until you are sure it is a scam and then hang up. Don’t answer phone calls from unknown numbers. You are welcome to scold the scammers and call them names but they don’t care; they have plenty of other numbers to call. Someone else will fall for the scam.

As soon as the caller identifies themselves as a law enforcement officer and mentions the registry, think to yourself, “This is probably a scam.”

The scammers are pretty good at sounding legit so it is natural to be a bit rattled during this phone call. Be patient. Just listen and give noncommittal responses (Oh? Really? No kidding. I didn’t know that.) until you can be sure it is a scam.

If the caller says they have a warrant for your arrest, it is a scam. If they tell you there is a problem with your registry information, it is a scam. If they tell you a little money will clear things up, it is a scam.

Scammers often “spoof” phone numbers to make it look as if the call came from a real number for that agency. If the incoming phone number matches the actual number of a law enforcement agency, that does not mean it is a legitimate call from that agency. It isn’t. They often use the name of an actual officer so that if you Google the name you might be convinced the call is real. It isn’t.

Be Fearless

If they ask questions of you, remember this: You are not obligated to answer questions from law enforcement, and certainly not questions from scammers. If you want to tell them to call your attorney, that’s fine. They aren’t going to call the lawyer because you are the one they want to frighten into giving them money.

Their goal is to frighten you, make you afraid that they will expose you as a registrant, make you afraid that you are in trouble, to make you so afraid you will give them money.
They want your money so they work hard to look and sound legit. They aren’t.

Some people have recorded the calls and reported the scammers to law enforcement. You are welcome to do this but we have yet to hear about law enforcement actually investigating these scams.

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