Caller Claims To Be Judge In Phone Scam
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Imagine getting a call saying you're about to be arrested when you know you've done nothing wrong.
All you have to do, the caller tells you, to stay out of jail is send money.
NewsChannel 5 Investigates has found unsuspecting folks are getting these types of calls.
"This has got to be a mistake." That's what Nashville resident Todd Anderson thought when he listened to the voice mail message he got last week. There's no way, he said, it could be true.
The voice mail from a strange sounding, heavily accented, and almost robotic voice was supposedly from a judge. "My name is Judge Kevin Mason," is in the message, and this "judge" claimed Anderson was in trouble.
In the recording, the voice explained, "There has been a case in which you have been convicted and found guilty in my chambers.
Anderson explained, "He was saying I had been convicted of a crime and I was going to be tried in our court tomorrow in our city and that I needed to call him immediately."
According to the voice mail message if Anderson didn't call, "The high court will be sending the legal officers to come and take you into custody."
Anderson said he's never even been arrested and knew immediately the call was a scam. For starters, the message was very generic.
There is no mention of a specific city or court. Instead, the caller said, "This case is getting adjourned to the local court in your state tomorrow morning."
"It was like okay, you don't even know where I'm at," added Anderson.
The caller claimed to be Judge Kevin Mason. There is no Judge Mason in Nashville or even Tennessee.
In fact, when NewsChannel 5 Investigates searched the Internet, we couldn't find a Judge Kevin Mason anywhere in the country.
Also on the Internet, we found others complaining about getting the same sort of call, many of them just in the last few days. And those who actually talked with a live person said the person on the other end tried very hard to get them to send money.
The same thing happened when NewsChannel 5 Investigates called. The man who answered claimed to be the judge, and even though our reporter never identified themselves, he immediately insisted she owed $485 to be paid at once. As soon as we started asking questions, he hung up.
Anderson said he knew better and didn't call back and now just hopes he never hears from them again.
"I would like to see them brought to the public square and tarred and feathered and whipped and hung," Anderson told NewsChannel 5 Investigates.
The best thing to do if you receive one of these calls is to hang up or delete the message and most importantly don't give them any information. Also, you can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission by clicking here.