Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Imagine getting a phone call from someone claiming you're facing criminal charges. It's a scary thought, that actually happened to one valley family.
"We panicked. We're like, what's going on?" asked Valarie Sandoval. She said a phone call turned her world upside down.
"We received a phone call stating that my husband's name and social security had been linked to some fraudulent cases," said Valerie.
It was a recorded message, stating her husband was facing charges. Valerie said they were instructed to call a certain number, or her husband could be arrested.
"We're either going to go to your house or to your job, unless you, unless you contact us first," said Valerie.
She said she and her husband were confused, "We don't have anything outstanding. We're law abiding citizens."
The person didn't identify themselves, or where they were calling from. Valerie thought it was strange, because the call back number was long distance.
"It was out of state. It was all the way in Michigan, and we've never lived there. We've never had any accounts there," said Valerie.
That's when she decided to reach out to Contact 13. We called that Michigan number, to find out who contacted Valerie. The person answering the phone didn't identify herself, she just asked for a case number. When we told her who was calling, she hung up on us, not once, but twice.
An online search brings up complaints from others, who warn it's a scam. Once you call back, the unknown caller asks for a payment, in order to clear any criminal charges. Valerie said she knows better than to pay any bogus fee.
"We do everything in our power just to get by day to day, and be like I said, law abiding citizens. It feels like an invasion of privacy," said Valerie.
Here's the Contact 13 bottom line: Never wire funds or give your credit card information to someone you don't know. Always confirm who a caller is, before you hand over any money.
Contact 13 reached out to Las Vegas police which said they'll never demand a payment over the phone. If someone is threatening to arrest you, call 311 and you can confirm if there's really a warrant for your arrest.
If you think you've been the target of a scam, remember we've got your back Southern Nevada. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll see what we can do to help.