On Saturday the Batavia Police Department issued the following alert about a potential officer impersonation scam designed to frighten unsuspecting citizens into making cash payments to avoid arrest. That alert is reproduced below:
The Batavia Police Department wants to notify our citizens of a recent report we received regarding someone impersonating one of our officers. A woman reported to us that she received a call from a male subject claiming to be Sgt. Potthoff from Batavia PD. The man provided a badge number as well. The man told her that there were warrants for her arrest and provided her with multiple case numbers. The man told her to go to her bank while remaining on the phone with him. He instructed her to get $3,000.00 for bond, and an extra $50.00. Then he told her to get another $595.00. He told her to go purchase bank / gift cards with the money. Luckily, the employees at the bank noticed this was likely a scam and notified her of such.
We are currently investigating this case. Please know that no law enforcement agency will ever ask you to pay bond by using gift cards. We believe (because this is typical with similar scams) that the offender was going ask our victim for the card and PIN numbers from the bank/gift cards she purchased. We would like all to know that once that information is turned over to the offender(s), the money is immediately removed by the offender(s) and we are unable to get it back. DO NOT do this!
As we continue to investigate this, we have noted the allegation made by the suspect, of valid arrest warrants for our victim was false. The offender(s) in these types of scams try to scare the victim(s) causing them to be emotional and go into a panic which often makes them more susceptible to suggestion – such as the offender(s) claiming that they can make this all go away by paying them by using bank/gift cards. These cards are not tracible and the money cannot be recovered.
If this ever happens to you, please hang up and call police immediately. Please share this post so we can get the word out to our community members!
The Batavia Police Department can be reached at 630-454-2500.