KIRO NIGHTS

Bizarre King County phone scam shows ‘crooks are getting better and better’

Oct 17, 2019, 12:55 PM
Phone scammer, scam...
Phone scammers continue to get crafty in King County. (Unsplash)
(Unsplash)

A phone scam in the Puget Sound region took an odd turn recently, highlighted by a bizarre incident with King County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Ryan Abbott.

Ellensburg loses $185K to cyber-scammers disguised as vendor

According to a report from KING5, Abbott’s mother received a call from scammers claiming to be with the Sheriff’s Office, asking for money to clear an arrest warrant issued for her. She passed the number on to Abbott, who then proceeded to call the scammers back.

Things got strange when the scammer answered the phone, claiming to be none other than Sergeant Ryan Abbott with the King County Sheriff’s Office. In this particular instance, the scammer couldn’t have chosen a worse fake identity.

Even so, it’s indicative of a larger trend that’s seen these schemes become more and more convincing to the average person — even the mother of a Sheriff’s Office sergeant.

“Crooks are getting better and better at what they do,” KIRO Nights co-host Gee Scott pointed out.

Over 20 people were fooled by this particular scam, showing up at the Sheriff’s Office in person to ask after the status of their “warrant.” Thousands of dollars have been lost in what’s largely been a convincing scheme.

King County transfers $220K to email scammers, recovers $195K 

“The majority of people that get scammed are usually baby boomers and above, but talking about millennials and Generation Z and everything, they get scammed just as much,” Gee noted.

That said, you could hardly be blamed for believing the best in people, especially when it’s someone claiming to be a trusted public servant.

“If you’re not a crook, then you probably don’t think like a crook,” Gee said.

To avoid these scams, the King County Sheriff’s Office notes that it would never ask for money over the phone, and to call local law enforcement if you receive a suspicious call.

KIRO Nights on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
  • listen to kiro nightsTune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 7 pm for KIRO Nights with Jack Stine.

KIRO Nights

KIRO Nights

Seattle Public Schools...
KIRO Nights

Despite early pushback, Seattle Public Schools reaches ‘fantastic’ vaccine mandate compliance

Of Seattle Public Schools' 7,283 full time employees, 99% have received COVID immunizations, and 205 have sought religious or medical exemptions.
2 days ago
Seattle city attorney...
KIRO Nights

Seattle city attorney candidate defends past inflammatory tweets as ‘satire and sarcasm’

Seattle city attorney candidate Nicole Thomas-Kennedy defends incendiary posts on social media, claims 'Twitter is an inherently satirical and sarcastic.'
21 days ago
vaccination plan, Biden...
Jack Stine

Jack Stine’s six step COVID vaccination plan

KIRO Nights host Jack Stine came up with his own six step plan to get more Americans vaccinated against COVID, focused on a change in messaging.
1 month ago
Vaccine consent, vaccinated protest, lawsuit vaccine mandate...
Jack Stine

Stine: Refusal to get vaccinated is about consent for some

Not wanting to get vaccinated has nothing to do with grand or romantic illusions of a conspiracy, but rather a very basic concept: consent.
2 months ago
lottery...
Jack Stine

Stine: If I win the COVID vaccine lottery … or any lottery

Lotteries present a tremendous amount of potential for someone to lose themselves from suddenly being endowed with hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars.
4 months ago
cancel rent...
KIRO Nights

Push to ‘cancel the rent,’ extend moratoriums driven by risk of more homelessness

With eviction moratoriums set to expire at the end of June, some local groups are pushing for the state to cancel rent and help people avoid homelessness.
5 months ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
...
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
...
Comcast

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Bizarre King County phone scam shows ‘crooks are getting better and better’