The Kirkland Police Department (KPD) has received reports about a male-targeted, two-part scam call from someone posing as a Kirkland detective.
The contact came after the men targeted had communicated with a female on various dating applications, police said. Authorities believe the same photos of the fictitious woman are being used on different dating platforms.
Three reports from the greater-Seattle area say that someone contacted them claiming to be detective Chris Haynes of KPD from Feb. 3-9. No detective with this name exists at the department. And caller IDs listed the department’s general number of 425-587-3400. This was likely accomplished using spoofing technology, authorities suspect.
“The suspect is posing as a 19-year-old female, starting online relationships with these guys and sending explicit photos,” said public information officer Eric Karp.
Then the men receive a call from a subject — pretending to be with the police department — alleging the photos are actually of a minor.
Fake family members then contact the victim to sort the issue out civilly, Karp said. He added that with each instance there has been variations in the scam, even some attempts to put the victim on a financial-payment plan. Authorities don’t believe the suspect is local.
As the public is made more aware of basic (phone scams), more elaborate ones, with more steps emerge, Karp said.
People who have received a similar call are asked to contact the police department at 425-577-5656 and report the communication.