KPD e-News Release: Kingsport Police Department Issues Scam Warning

Kingsport Police Department

David Quillin, Chief of Police

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

SUBJECT: Kingsport Police Department Issues Scam Warning
DATE: February 7, 2018
The Kingsport Police Department is urging citizens to educate themselves on a current technique in use by scam artists and to avoid becoming the next victim.

Area citizens have been receiving telephone calls from individuals claiming to represent any of a number of organizations including financial institutions, law enforcement agencies, and even the Internal Revenue Service. The callers then use a variety of scare tactics to create a heightened sense of urgency. These scare tactics include threats of law suits, arrest, or other legal action.

The target is informed that a fee or fine must be paid immediately. Oddly however, the caller will not accept an immediate payment by traditional means (cash, check, or debit/credit card), but rather they tell their target to go to a local retail store and purchase a money card (typically a Green Dot, MoneyPak, or some other variety of prepaid Visa/MasterCard or gift card).

The caller instructs the victim to provide them with the account number and PIN number of that card, at which point the funds are immediately accessed and claimed remotely. Once the money is gone, it is gone for good, and there is no getting it back.

Individual victims have basically given away hundreds or even thousands of dollars to complete strangers over the phone by falling for this scam. This is not exactly a new tactic; however, it is definitely one that is still in current use by scam artists. Unfortunately, it will likely continue to be used until victims quit falling prey to it.

While we certainly cannot speak for a private financial institution, we can say with 100 percent certainty that no legitimate law enforcement official, nor any representative of the Internal Revenue Service, would ever call somebody on the telephone, threaten legal action, and then demand payment only in the form of a pre-paid money card.

Again…a word of warning…THIS WOULD NEVER HAPPEN. So, if it happens to you, you can rest assured with 100 percent certainty that IT IS A SCAM! Avoid becoming a victim, save yourself a whole lot of heartache, and simply HANG UP THE PHONE!

Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-224-2786 (FAX)


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