Pay Up or Get Arrested

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John Audley

Kathleen Barton wanted to spend her Labor Day at the beach, but just after noon she got a call that forced her to change her plans. The man on the other end of the line told her that she had defaulted on a loan and that if she didn’t pay up immediately she was going to jail.

“Tomorrow I was going to be charged with three federal counts of bank fraud,” Barton says the man told her. “At 11:00 tomorrow at my job I was going to be arrested.”

The West Hartford woman says she knew she didn’t have any loans out, but she was so scared by the threat that she questioned herself. She went into work on her day off and began to look at her record.

“I was so scared that I was ready to give them the money,” explained Barton.

Before she faxed over her driver’s license, social security number, and credit card number Barton googled the phone number that was given to her. She found testimonials from people saying they had been scammed the exact same way. It was at that point when Barton called the West Hartford Police Department.

The West Hartford Police Department is investigating the calls and believes this was a scam.

“What we are trying to do is get this information out to the public so people don’t get sucked into these types of scams and lose their hard earned dollars,” said Sgt. Roger Brancoforte.

NBC Connecticut tried to call the same phone number and somebody answered.

With a thick accent the man on the other end of the phone line said, “The reason why she was this, is that because she has an outstanding loan and these are criminal charges which has been pressed onto her and he has been promised to handle this matter out of court but she did not do so.”

The phone call then disconnected. Each time NBC Connecticut tried to call back an answering machine picked up the line.

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