Spokane Police warn of Homeland Security phone scam

Phone Scam

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane Police Department has warned people to be aware of phone scams after receiving several reports about it this last week.

Yesterday, a Spokane citizen called Crime Check to report that they received a phone call from a person claiming themselves to be “Agent Malina.” The citizen’s caller ID showed “Homeland Security.”

It was an automated recording that told the citizen there was a warrant out for their arrest and was transferred to a phone number supposedly for the Spokane Valley Police Department. Once they were transferred, a woman was on the phone and claimed the subject’s identity had been stolen and was used for crimes in Texas. In order to protect his assets, the citizen was told they needed to put all of their money on prepaid VISA cards.

The victim bought eight $500 gift cards and provided the card information to the caller over the phone. The caller claimed they would reach out the next day. The victim realized they had been scammed.

The SPD said that law enforcement agencies will not call citizens telling them they have a warrant, that their identity has been stolen and their assets would be compromised unless they bought gift cards and provided the information to the caller. They added that people should never give personal information, banking information or pay any fee (prepaid gift cards) to anyone without doing research to verify the agency or business.

The SPD encourages the community to report all attempted scams to Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.