New twist on "imposter scam" takes deception to a new level

GREENVILLE, S.C. - There's a new twist on a type of imposter scam that makes it much more deceptive.

"Who doesn't panic when they get a phone call from the Greenville Police," said Rusty Infinger who was targeted by the scammers.

The callers told him he needed to appear at the station for an outstanding warrant.  They even threatened arrest.

"I was pretty nervous, in fact I was sort of terrified thinking what in the world has happened," said Infinger.

The caller told him to dial another number to reach an attorney, and when he did the law firm said they represent credit card companies and he was being charged with fraud for failing to pay.  

Infinger didn't recall any outstanding debt, but he wasn't sure if there was something he had overlooked years ago.

What was most deceptive to Infinger is how much they knew about him.

"I just need to confirm, your email address is, and he knew my email address, your physical address is, and he knew my physical address," he said.  

Donnie Porter with Greenville Police Department warns scammers love to impersonate trusted agencies.
"The technology is out there to allow people to spoof the number out there and we just really want to encourage citizens to know that law enforcement is not going to call threaten you with arrest."

Right now there's an effort at the statehouse to pass a bill that would stop pesky out-of-state telemarketers from spoofing South Carolina area codes. But even if that passes, scammers don't follow the law.

Fortunately, Infinger is also an attorney, and as his background kicked in, and emotions subsided, he says he began asking specific questions that eventually untangled their web of lies.  

"If it can happen to me, a 30 year practicing attorney, it can happen to anybody," he said.

It's important to know how police departments operate to be able to see the red flags.

Greenville Police Department says it will never cold call someone and tell them there is a warrant out for their arrest.

They may stop by the house, but they would not call.

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