A Bainbridge Island woman was scammed out of $4,200 by a phony sheriff’s detective last week.
According a report filed with the Bainbridge Island Police Department, the woman, 44, said she was called at work by a man who identified himself as “Det. Wilson” with the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Department.
He told her she did not respond to a federal jury trial summons on Oct. 4.
He also said he knew she was a doctor and a respected person on Bainbridge, but said she needed to appear at the Kitsap County Courthouse to take care of the matter. When she said she was working and couldn’t leave, he asked if she had a third party or a spouse who could appear for her and pay the fees that were owed.
She told the man her husband would go to the courthouse; when her husband called the bogus detective, the man told the husband to go to the bank and take out $4,200, then go to Safeway and purchase Money Pak vouchers.
The husband went to Safeway and got eight vouchers for $500 each, and one for $200. When he got back into his car, he was still on the phone with the scammer, who said he needed the voucher numbers.
The husband was put on hold, and the scammer came back on the line and said there was an accounting error and he needed to get $5,300 more in vouchers.
When the man returned to Safeway, he was prohibited from buying additional vouchers.
He then went to a Safeway off-island, but was turned away again. The “detective,” still on the phone, suggested he try the Fred Meyer in East Bremerton, so the husband started driving to that store.
Meanwhile, his wife called the sheriff’s department. When the real Det. Wilson got on the line, he told the woman he didn’t know what she was talking about and told her she was being scammed.
The woman then called her husband and told him to drive home.
The woman said she thought the first call was authentic because she could hear a police scanner in the background.
Police called the phone number for the bogus detective and discovered it had been disconnected.