Imagine this: A police officer calls another police officer threatening to arrest her if she does not comply with his wild demands. No, this is not the plot of some crime drama. This is the crazy scam that an unidentified caller tried to pull off on Captain Ann Stephens, the chief of the police department in Apex, North Carolina. The scammer claimed to be an Officer John Black with the Social Security Administration. Needless to say, “Officer Black” didn’t get the information he was trolling for, but Captain Stephens gave the Internet entertainment and a valuable lesson.
‘Charged’ With 25 Crimes
As fate would have it, Captain Ann Stephens was on her shift at the Apex Police Department when a very persistent scam artist unexpectedly called her. When she realized what was going on, she and some of her fellow officers decided to record the encounter.
It wouldn’t have taken a rocket scientist to figure out that this was an obvious scam. The caller claimed that representatives from four federal agencies were listening in on the call. One of those agencies was the non-existent “Department of Narcotics,” and, as a police chief, Captain Stephen knew that is not the name of any true federal agency.
Bringing In The Big Guns
“Officer Black,” the scammer, repeated the claim that a sheriff was going to arrest Officer Stephens, but it took a lot of coaxing for him to finally admit what the copious “allegations” actually were. She was being accused by this fake officer of the Social Security Administration of having 25 fraudulent bank accounts connected with her social security number, and she was said to be charged with a crime for each bank account. These fake accounts were allegedly involved in $10 million worth of crimes, including money laundering, drug trafficking, and tax fraud.
Comically, Officer John Black called in his superior, Officer Jason Brown, before the end of the call. Throughout the call, the scam artists insinuated that they believed Captain Ann Stephens may have been innocent of the long list of false charges. If only she would have given up her address and the last four digits of her social security number, Officers Black and Brown would have been able to help her.
The Plot Thickens
In total, Captain Stephens spoke with the two scam artists for over 10 minutes. When she staunchly refused to give up her information, the “Officers” gave her the hard press. They said that she had two choices: either be arrested (in 45 minutes) for drug trafficking or give them her bank account information. As the conversation continued, the scam artists got loud and took on a very aggressive tone. When that failed to motivate Captain Stephens to provide her address, social security number, and banking information, the scam artists abruptly hung up.
The entire debacle was posted on the Apex Police Department Facebook page. It has received 1.5 million views, and clips from the video have appeared on Inside Edition and local newscasts accross the country. At the end of the video, Captain Stephens offers tips to help the community avoid being scammed. She mentions that people should never give out their social security number, their address, or their banking information to strangers on the phone. As funny as this was, people who comply with scam artists can have their identities or their hard-earned money stolen. We are glad Captain Stephens knew how to handle these scam artists!
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