Creston Police Chief Paul Ver Meer is warning of an aggressive phone conman fishing for money and information.
According to Ver Meer, an unidentified Creston woman reported her mother-in-law was contacted multiple times from a man claiming she had won a prize.
However, to claim the prize, she would have to pay for shipping.
“After being contacted a few times about prize winnings, the same caller had contacted the woman claiming to be a Creston police officer,” said Ver Meer. “He said he was investigating the phone fraud and had names of our officers and everything.”
The woman grew suspicious of the caller because of his thick, far-eastern accent.
“Most people in Creston know us, have talked to us,” said Ver Meer. “So when someone calls claiming to be us, they’ll know pretty quickly it’s a scam.”
The woman called the number (469) 828-9971 with Ver Meer by her side.
“I took the phone and introduced myself as the Police Chief “ said Ver Meer. “They said, ‘No you’re not, because I’m standing next to the police chief.’”
Ver Meer said the exchange went on and the caller would not back down from his claim of being a Creston police officer.
“So they are very aggressive,” said Ver Meer. “He wouldn’t hang up.”
A Google search of the phone number revealed a message board on 800notes.com of similar complaints.
According to the 800notes website, the most common posts complained of a man with a thick Indian accent who informed potential victims they had won a check for $250,000 and a new Mercedes Benz. Some reports claim the man told them is was from Publisher’s Clearing House. In any case, all were told to pay money to cover the taxes and in some cases shipping charges.
Ver Meer said to be suspicious if you did not initiate a call where someone is claiming to verify information and collect personal information such as Social Security numbers, bank account information or any personal information.
“”Hang up the phone and call law enforcement,” said Ver Meer. “If someone calls claiming to be a Creston officer, call us and ask for that officer directly.”
Creston Police Department may be reached at (641) 782-8402.