Attorney General James Issues Alert to Protect Capital Region from New Scams

Scammers Impersonating Albany and Troy Police Officers

ALBANY – Attorney General Letitia James today warned people in the Capital Region about new, recently reported scams targeting residents which involve scam artists impersonating Albany and Troy police officers.

“During these uncertain times, it is crucial that New Yorkers remain vigilant about potential scams,” Attorney General James said. “Fraud is always inexcusable, but it is all the more heinous to exploit New Yorkers in the Capital Region during this pandemic. My office remains committed to holding accountable anyone who violates the law, and I continue to encourage the public to report suspected scams to my office.”

There have been recent reports of scammers calling residents in the Capital Region claiming to be officers from the Albany and Troy Police Departments and asking for either financial information to resolve fake debts or money in the form of gift cards to avoid arrest on non-existent charges. These scammers are claiming that individuals have an unpaid debt and threatening them with arrest if they do not provide bank information immediately over the phone to resolve it. In other instances, scammers are claiming to be police officers and demanding that individuals purchase gift cards to “post bond” in lieu of being arrested on criminal charges. To make these scams even more deceiving, these scammers have utilized caller ID spoofing, which deceptively makes it appear that the call is actually coming from the local police department, and they have been using the real names of police officers in the area.

Attorney General James highlights the following tips for New Yorkers to protect themselves from these scams:

  • Be suspicious of anyone who calls you over the phone seeking money or personal information. If you owe money, you will receive a legitimate notice in writing that identifies the agency and the reason you owe money.
  • Do not give out personal and sensitive information, including your Social Security number and bank account information, to individuals over the phone. In addition, ensure to independently verify the authenticity of the caller.
  • Legitimate law enforcement agencies or government organizations will never threaten arrest or deportation for failure to pay a debt.
  • Legitimate government agencies will never insist that consumers pay a debt only via a prepaid card, gift card, or wire transfer.

If you believe you have been a victim of a scam, please contact the Office of the Attorney General and file a complaint online or call 1-800-771-7755.