If you’ve received a phone call or email from the North Carolina Department of the State Treasurer (DST) claiming that you or your loved ones will be arrested due to a failure to pay outstanding fines, don’t fall for the scam.
The scammers may demand that you have to send prepaid cards to DST to prevent arrest. They’ll give you the DST’s legitimate mailing address and tell you that once the cards are received, the arrest warrants will be dropped. Before people mail the cards, they’re asked to call the scammers back and recite the numbers on the cards. The scammers then spend the funds on the prepaid card, putting you at a financial loss. Customers have lost money in similar IRS and bankruptcy court scams.
Scammers may also send you a phishing email claiming to be from the DST in an attempt to get you to share personal information. They’ll claim that they received a package containing an ATM card with money stored on it in your name and will need your information, such as your phone number and address, to release the card to you.
Remember, no one from a government agency will contact you to threaten you with arrest. Scammers are using fear to push you into a panic and force you to make a bad financial decision. You should also never share personal or financial information via email or text message, which can be vulnerable to hackers. Also, never share information until you can verify who you’re in contact with.
If you are contacted by such a scammer, hang up immediately and report it to the NCDOJ’s Consumer Protection Division by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or by filing a complaint online.