Police Warn Of Scam Targeting Immigrants Living In Central Ohio

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Police say scammers are targeting immigrants, including people from Mexico or India, who don't have a good understanding about how the American judicial system operates.

Victims get a call from someone claiming they're with the IRS, or a power company, or a bank. They spoof the telephone number on the caller ID so that the number seems legitimate.

Then, they threaten arrest and deportation if the victim doesn't pay up using a pre-paid money card.

"Particularly people coming from other countries, they're less aware that there's a process that we have in this country and that normally police aren't going to just come out and grab you without some kind of investigation with the IRS or AEP," said Sgt. Dennis Kline, CPD Fraud and Forgery.

Kline says the use of the pre-paid money cards and the use of spoofing make it difficult, if not impossible, for police to catch these crooks.  

Many of them operate outside the United States.  He hopes this warning will be taken to churches, synagogues and temples where it can be shared amongst the immigrant population.