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Police Warn Against Traffic Camera Scam

A caller pretends to be a law enforcement official, and demands money from an apparent traffic violation.
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- About a half dozen people in central Arkansas were targeted by a scammer this Valentine's Day. It deals with the cameras next to lights at Little Rock intersections that are meant to control the flow of traffic and not get drivers in trouble. "I was just really uncomfortable giving him any information," said a Little Rock woman who did not want to be identified. "When he wouldn't let me call him back he wouldn't give me his number." He identified himself as a Lieutenant and told her there was an outstanding warrant for her arrest from a traffic violation."He said it was from photo radar, and I'd missed my court date," she said.

"The cameras in Arkansas are not for that purpose," said Lt. Carl Minden with the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office. If red flags weren't already going up, Minden said cameras at intersections are not there for traffic violations. "They're strictly for monitoring traffic flow," he said. "It's actually illegal for law enforcement to issue citations off of it."

The target of the scam said the voice on the other end of the phone grew more and more aggressive. "He told her he was going to send a squad car immediately," she said. Luckily she kept her cool and called her attorney on the other line and gave up no personal information. "I just hope that no one provides him the information he's asking for," she said. "It's not legitimate."

Unfortunately, there was someone who fell victim."Today we got five to six phone calls," Minden said. "One reported he sent money to the scam artist." Trust your gut, and remember law enforcement simply does not operate this way. "If you're suspicious of it," Minden said. "Tell them that and say I'm going to call the department."

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