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Woman warns of potential scam through suspicious phone call

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Woman warns of potential scam through suspicious phone call

By Michael Lopardi. CREATED Mar 17, 2014

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- A valley woman believes she was scammed out of hundreds of dollars and wants to warn others about the suspicious phone call she received.

"I feel like a fool for doing this," said Roberta Mills, 77, of Las Vegas.

Mills said she received a phone call last week from someone claiming to be with the Clark County Sheriff's Office.

"The man said he was a police officer, this was a courtesy call so I could make things right before they sent out a warrant for my arrest," Mills explained.

The caller told Mills she was caught speeding on Interstate 15 and missed her court date, but she could avoid arrest by purchasing a Green Dot MoneyPak card, a reloadable debit card, to settle the fine.

"Of course, I feel that I've been had," Mills said.

Mills said she doesn't recall a speeding ticket but the call sounded real, so she purchased a card for $489 and shared the account number. An hour later, the money was gone.

"Since he had so much information about everything, but I should've called right then," said Mills.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police said they have received a few similar complaints but officers do not call people to collect fines on behalf of the court system.

"I'd encourage people who believe they're being scammed by telephone just to simply hang up and advise their friends and family of their experiences," said officer Larry Hadfield, police spokesman.

Hadfield said it's unlikely police would go out to arrest someone for missing traffic court unless, for example, the defendant was already pulled over in a traffic stop for another offense.

Action News tried calling the number but no one answered. The voice mail recording had a man's voice saying it was the Clark County Sheriff's Office.

Las Vegas Township Justice Court handles traffic matters. Court administrator LaDeana Gamble said the court's employees do not call people for money. If you miss traffic court, Gamble said the court will send you a piece of mail, like a postcard. Gamble noted that people can call the court to check and see if they have pending citations or warrants.

The sheriff's office has a civil office that handles some warrants but county spokesman Dan Kulin said the office would not call someone asking for money.

MoneyPak also lists tips to protect yourself and warnings about possible scams on its website.

Mills has filed a police report but it's unlikely she'll get her money back.

"Everybody has to be aware and I want people to know about it," Mills said.

Michael Lopardi

Michael Lopardi

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Michael Lopardi is the featured reporter of the You Ask. We Investigate. franchise at Action News.