Can you imagine a scenario where an agent of law enforcement threatens another officer to have her arrested if she doesn’t follow ridiculous demands? This may sound like some twisted plot in a television drama but it actually happened.
The threatened police officer was Ann Stephens, the Chief of Police in North Carolina. The caller, whom we shall refer to as “Officer Black,” did not get what he wanted. However, Captain Stephens and the incident provided the internet with some momentary entertainment along with an important lesson.
Charged with several crimes
The incident was not intended to happen to Captain Stephens. It was just a stroke of fate when the very persistent scammer placed his call on her shift. Recognizing the scam for what it was, she and her fellow officer made the decision to record the whole encounter.
The demands of the caller were so ridiculous that you anyone could have figured out that it was a hoax. The caller even made claims that a number of representatives from federal agencies also listened in to their conversation.
One made-up agency was the “Department of Narcotics” which, of course, doesn’t exist. Captain Stephens already knew that there was no such agency.
The big guns
The scammer even had the unmitigated gall to have the sheriff “arrested,” not just once, but several times. Officer Black claimed that she had 25 fake bank accounts linked to her Social Security Number.
Under the pretense of being an officer of the Social Security Administration, she was to get charged with crimes for each of these accounts.
He claimed that the fake accounts had contained ten million dollars worth of crimes like tax fraud, money laundering, and drug trafficking. The skit was slowly turning out for the worse – in a comical sense – as the scam artist called his “Supervisor” Jason Brown before ending the call.
All throughout the conversation, the scammers made insinuations that Captain Stephens was not really guilty of the long list of charges they mentioned. What they required next really made the incident more suspicious as they wanted her to give them her home address along with the last few digits of her social security number. If she gave this information, they would could “help her.”
The conversation lasted for about ten minutes. When the Chief of Police stubbornly refused to give in to their demands, the two scam artists then went into overdrive. They left her with two choices – she would get arrested in a matter of 45 minutes for the crimes or provide the information they demanded.
As the call continued, the scammers grew louder, taking on this time, a tone that was very aggressive. Feeling that the threats didn’t convince Captain Stephens into giving in to their demands, the scammers finally hung up.
The viral phone call
Captain Stephens posted the fiasco in its entirety in the Facebook page of the Police Department where it received more than 1.5 million views. Some clips of the incident also made their way to Inside Edition along with many local newscasts.
Captain Stephens even made an appearance, offering pointers to help community members from getting scammed. Most important of these was not giving out their sensitive or personal information over the phone.