Criminal probe launched after SPD’s non-emergency phone line redirected to fraudulent number

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SEATTLE — The Seattle Police Department said Wednesday night that it has launched a criminal investigation after its non-emergency phone line was redirected to a fraudulent phone number and callers were asked to leave their names and phone numbers.

“On May 31, 2016, between approximately 5:00 PM and 10:00 PM, calls to the non-emergency line for the Seattle Police Department (206 625-5011) were diverted away from the department to an unidentified third party,” the SPD said on its online blotter. “People who called the number during this time period likely received a message stating that they had reached the United States Marshals Service and directing them to leave their name and a phone number. This diversion is the subject of an active and ongoing criminal investigation.

“Anyone who left a message with the non-emergency line during the time period above, and who receives a call referring to that message or from a person who identifies themselves as a member of law enforcement should hang up and call 911 to report the incident,” the SPD said.

“We would like to remind everyone that the Seattle Police Department will never call you and ask for your credit card, bank account number, Social Security number or other personal financial information, nor will we request money or payment for fines, bail, court fees or anything else of that nature over the phone.”