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CAMFT legal staffers are still receiving reports from therapists across the state who are being scammed by thieves who pretend to be police officers with warrants for arrests. Here are some of the hallmarks of these scam artists:
They are able to make their call look like it is coming from a local Police Department (the caller IDs mirror LAPD, FresnoPD, San Joaquin Police, etc.).
The thieves use information from the therapists’ Psychology Today profiles, and even find their license numbers online, to make the claims more believable.
Often the scammers will report that the therapist missed a court date or subpoena, and therefore a warrant is out for their arrest. The scammers, posing as police officers, promise to drop the charges if the therapist can pay them a fee, usually $1200 to $3500.
Sometimes the scammers will ask the therapist to wire money immediately or even stay on the line while they drive to a bank or QuickStop to mail a money order.
The scammers also threaten the therapist that a warrant for their arrest will be enacted immediately if they hang up or discontinue the call.
If you get a call from a number that looks like a police department but seems suspicious, it is best to hang up (you will not be immediately arrested), find the number of the Police station that was supposedly calling, and call the station using the phone number you know is legitimate.
If you receive one of these scam calls, please inform your local police department. And feel free to share this information with other therapists.
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