The Soldotna Police Department is warning people about a phone scam that may be directed toward peninsula residents.
Lt. Duane Kant said on Tuesday that a local Kenai Peninsula resident reported receiving a phone call on April 6 from someone claiming to be an officer from the Soldotna Police department.
“The resident was told that they had an outstanding warrant for their arrest and in order to take care of the warrant, the resident needed to immediately go purchase a large amount of gift cards and provide the unknown caller with the ID numbers of those gift cards,” Kant said. The caller reportedly asked for gift cards for Google Play, the app store for Android devices.
Only one person has reported this scam to police so far, according to Kant. Kant said that the unknown caller identified themselves as a member of the Soldotna Police Department and even used the name of one of the officers. The caller also managed to disguise their phone number and make it appear as if the call was coming from the Soldotna Police Department.
“Caller ID used to be a way to identify fake calls, but that’s not the case anymore,” Kant said.
Kant made it clear that any actions taken by the Soldotna Police Department in regards to outstanding arrest warrants would not be conducted over the phone in such a manner. Kant added that any potential scams of this nature should be reported to the police so that they can gather as much information as possible about the potential scammers. People can also go to ic3.gov, the internet crime complaint center, to report any phone or internet scams to the FBI. Kant offered a final piece of advice to anyone that thinks they are the victim of a phone scam:
“If they’re asking for money, go ahead and hang up.”
The Soldotna Police Department’s non-emergency line is 907-262-4455.