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Call Kurtis scam alert: Fake law-enforcement fines

Call Kurtis scam alert: Fake law-enforcement fines
Call Kurtis scam alert: Fake law-enforcement fines 01:18

SACRAMENTO - Crooks around the country have been successfully stealing money by convincing people they may go to jail.

It's been a trend that Kurtis has long warned folks about, but scammers are getting more aggressive and more conniving.

Sarah Rabe was the victim of one, who says a caller left her a message saying she was going to be arrested as a result of an outstanding warrant from missed jury duty.

"This is Deputy Johnson calling you from the warrants and citation division," said a man in the recording she played.

"If I did not pay, then I would be arrested and detained," she told CBS. 

In order to avoid that, she transferred $2,500 through a popular payment app only to later find out the whole thing was a scam.

"When you send money to somebody using one of these apps, a lot of times you can't get your money back because you're authorizing that transaction," said Melanie McGovern with the Beter Business Bureau.

The FBI put out alerts earlier this year warning people that con artists are impersonating officers and officials from a number of agencies, even texting or emailing fake badges to trick potential victims.

"The thing that's scary about it is, the second you think it's law enforcement you're not really thinking straight," said McGovern.

That's why if you get a call like Sarah's, Kurtis recommends the first thing you do is hang up, find the phone number of the agency online and call back yourself to make sure it's real. 

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