The Snohomish Police Department has issued a warning about a new scam that claims that there is a problem with your immigration status.
City of Snohomish citizens have received a phone call from an individual who identified himself as Jeff Marten from “U.S. Legal Support.” Caller ID showed the call came from the Snohomish Police Department. Marten claimed that issues have come up concerning the immigration status of the person answering the phone. Marten warned that police would become involved in the case soon. He offered to fix the problem for a fee.
This scam tries to take advantage of the anxiousness that some people may have due to the controversial changes to enforcing immigration laws being talked about at the federal government. Immigrants, no matter their status, and the elderly are prime targets for scammers like this.
Snohomish Police Chief John Flood called the call back number, given to him by one of the citizens who received the scammer’s phone call. A man answered, gave him the same song and dance then asked for a debit or prepaid cash card. The man hung up when the chief identified himself.
This scam follows an old pattern. The caller tries to scare you into taking action, that is pay the caller money to fix your supposed problem. The scammer asks, or sometimes demands, that you purchase a pre-paid cash card (which cannot be traced) and give him the card number. If you do not, you will be arrested.
The City of Snohomish stated that the Police Department will not threaten arrest based on your citizenship status.
Scammers often impersonate people in authority. Some recent impersonation scams that have been reported include the IRS scam, warrant/jury duty scam, utility fee scams and the tech support scam.
If you receive a call from a scammer, the best thing you can do is to hang up. Also, let your local police department or the Sheriff’s Office know about the call through the non-emergency number, (425) 407-3999.
Also, let your friends, family, and neighbors know about this scam, especially if they are elderly or are immigrants.