Sent on 4/16/2013 4:56:49 PM
Over the past few days, the Pima County Sheriff’s Department has received multiple reports about attempted fraudulent activity involving the claim that it is police who is calling the victim. Detectives with the Sheriff’s Fraud Unit are investigating a string of cases in which an individual called the victims and claimed to be an officer or detective with the Tucson Police Department. Using a variety of scenarios, the perpetrator asked the victim to provide them with cash or personal financial information. They purport that this is in relation to an ongoing investigation and then use different approaches to solicit either money or personal information. The Pima County Sheriff’s Department would like to use this opportunity and clarify that law enforcement officers would never ask victims for money! Should currency ever be needed as evidence deputies, officers or detectives will be present and be able to clearly identify themselves as law enforcement. These types of requests would never be made over the phone. We also contacted the Tucson Police Department (TPD) and spoke to their Public Information Officer, Sgt. Maria Hawke, who said “We always encourage any citizen who wishes to confirm that a person self-identifying as a Tucson Police Officer is in fact affiliated with the Tucson Police Department to request the badge or payroll number from the person. This is especially true in cases where the contact is made entirely over the phone. By Department policy, all of our personnel are required to immediately provide their name and badge number if requested. Citizens can call our non-emergency line (520-791-4444) to check whether the name and badge number provided are those of an actual TPD employee. A legitimate TPD employee will not only be willing to provide their name and badge number, but also will provide a phone number that a citizen can call to get back in touch with them after confirmation of their identity is completed.” Anyone with information on this investigation is asked to call 9-1-1 or 88-CRIME.