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New phone scam threatens arrest for debt

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TIFFIN, OH (Toledo News Now) -

There's a new phone scam that residents in the Tiffin area should be aware of.

People have been threatened with arrest by a caller who has all their personal information. Now police are taking to Facebook, spreading the word to residents.

A couple of Tiffin residents have reported getting calls from a person who knows their personal information, including their social security number and how much debt they owe. The caller asks them to wire money, claiming if the resident's debt is not paid, the Tiffin Police or Seneca County Sheriff will come to their house and arrest them.

Tiffin Police Chief Fredrick Stevens says local authorities are not in the business of debt collections, and warns residents to be cautious before making any rash decisions out of fear.

"You know that you owe some money to somebody. Maybe you're late, maybe you're not," Chief Stevens said. "They're just playing on the odds that you won't contact the police department, and you won't contact the debt company that you owe the money to, and that's what we're asking. Contact them first, see if they are aware of what's going on before you contact the police department."

The scammers are often based out of other countries and use blocked phone numbers and a P.O. Box, so tracking them is nearly impossible.

Police say it is up to residents to use their best judgment to avoid becoming a victim.

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