Police are warning residents to beware of scammers who called and allegedly harassed a Glendale woman by repeatedly demanding she repay a bogus loan or face arrest.
The scammers claimed they were from the Law Office of Patricia Brown, 1160 11th Ave. in San Francisco, and were trying to collect an unpaid loan. Other victims have said similar scammers use the same address in San Francisco, but alter the name of the law office or say they are Michael Carter from the “Department of Legal Affairs.”
Apparently, it’s a scam not worth hiding.
In a call on Friday to the same local number provided to the Glendale victim, a woman who would only identify herself as “Angelina Jolie” confirmed that she is based in Pakistan, not in law offices in San Francisco.
She also made no bones about the call’s intent.
“This is a scam,” she said.
Glendale Police Det. Robert Zaun said he called the same number this week, but once he identified himself, they hung up.
The scammers called the Glendale victim, Barbara — who asked to be identified by her first name only out of fear of retribution — and told her she was past due on a payday loan, a claim she knew to be false.
The caller demanded she repay the loan or police would be sent to her work to arrest her, Zaun said.
The scammers threatened a three-month jail stay and warned her that police would not provide her with any details about the arrest, Barbara said.
But what really frightened her was that the scammers had her personal information, including details about where she worked.
Fearing she was in trouble, Barbara said she called an attorney who advised her that legal system “didn’t work that way.”
Meanwhile, the scammers called her several times every 15 to 20 minutes, demanding she pay the loan or face up to $10,000 in penalties.
“I thought this was a legitimate thing and I am not a stupid woman,” Barbara said. “Anybody could fall for this.”
The scammers may have gathered information about her from her Facebook account, which was recently hacked, she added.
Police are investigating the incident and are looking for additional victims to come forward.
Anyone who has received a call from (760) 278-3027 or was called by a similar law office, or by Michael Carter, can call the Glendale police Financial Crimes Unit at (818) 548-3101.