Scammers try to target Andalusia police chief

Published 4:00 pm Tuesday, April 2, 2024

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On Monday, the April Fools joke might have been on scammers when the number they called was the work cell phone of Andalusia Police Chief Paul Hudson.

“They told me I was a Publishers Clearing House winner,” Hudson said. “They knew my full name and my birth date, and told me all I had to do to collect my millions was send money.”

Hudson and the APD have often warned about scammers who claim that people have won the Publishers Clearing House prize, or that the US Marshals are calling about a fine or warrant. The callers almost always ask for money to be sent via gift cards.

“The marshals don’t call.” Hudson told the Andalusia Rotary Club just last week. “The marshals show up and knock on your door.”

Even though the chief knew the caller attempting to scam him, he said he was amazed at how much they knew about him. When he asked how they knew and why there were giving him details like his legal name and date of birth, they told him, “It’s so you’ll know this is real.”

In light of the call, Hudson repeated the warning he’s given before, “Do not send them money, or a gift card, or anything else,” he said.

Unfortunately, when the APD has received complaints from local residents who participated only to figure out they’ve been scammed, there is very little that can be done.

“They’re usually using a phone number that has been rerouted, and you cannot trace it back,” he said. “Unfortunately, it is a well-organized crime.”

The bottom line is this, he said.

“If it sounds too good to be true, it is,” he said.