Hanover Police: Phone scammer pretended to be cop, wanted money for 'warrant'

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
Scam alert

Police said a scammer is targeting people in the greater Hanover area, pretending to be a police officer and claiming they owe money for missing a court appearance.

On Tuesday, Hanover Borough Police Chief Chad Martin said his department has received several reports from people saying a man called them and identified himself as a Hanover police officer.

The scammer told each of his targets they missed a court appearance and that a warrant has been issued for their arrest, according to the chief.

He then tried to convince his targets to send him money, either through wire transfers or gift cards, Martin said.

Most people contacted so far didn't fall for the scam, but one person did and suffered a significant financial loss, according to the chief.

"The Hanover Borough Police Department has not and will not make such calls," Martin said.

Hanover Police Chief Chad Martin, left, speaks during the fourth installment of the Pennsylvania Human Relation Commission's York Town Hall Series at Guthrie Memorial Library in Hanover, Thursday, July 11, 2019. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Officers do call fugitives in an effort to convince them to turn themselves in, he said — but the officers will never ask for money.

Anyone who receives such a phone call should immediately hang up and call 911, Martin said.

People should be suspicious of any caller who asks for personal or financial information, he said.

Wire transfers, gift cards and Bitcoin are all untraceable once the scammer has the funds, according to the chief.

Anyone who received such a call can contact Hanover Borough Police at 717-637-5575.

— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.