Olathe Police warn of phone scam involving its department

Posted at 6:14 PM, Oct 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-09 19:25:43-04

OLATHE, Kan. — Shawna Cortez just opened up shop a few months ago, Pups-N-Suds in Gardner, Kansas.

As the owner, she says she gets a lot of calls coming in.

“From people wanting their dog groomed, or we do boarding, just a lot of different questions,” she said. “I love that we're providing this to the community and all the calls coming in.”

But there was one call that seemed a little odd.

“The gentleman asked if I liked to donate to the Olathe police station, I said ‘I'm sorry at this time I just can't I don't have the funds for it, but I appreciate what you guys are doing, thank you very much,’” she said.

Cortez says then the man started to get a little pushy and rude.

“For a foundation normally they're pretty, 'oh okay, thank you for your time,' where he was like, ‘can't you give just $10 dollars or five dollars?’ And I said ‘thank you, have a good day and I hung up the phone,’” Cortez said.

After getting on social media, Cortez realized she wasn't the only one receiving these calls.

Olathe police say roughly 50 to 100 people have contacted the department, stating the same as Cortez, that someone was calling and asking for donations for the Olathe Police Department.

“It's not nice, it's not fun that somebody is going around using our name for their personal benefit,” Sgt. Logan Bonney said.

Bonney says what’s interesting is the number soliciting money is usually the same, except the last two digits vary.

“We started to notice the phone numbers were very similar,” Bonney said. “We made phone calls to those phone numbers and got nowhere.”

Olathe police say they are not soliciting any donations through the phone and say it’s pretty uncommon for a police department to do so.

“One of the things you got to look out for is being overly pushy, if someone's overly pushy, it's probably not wise to give them the money,” Bonney said.

Police say the best advice is to go to the source. If you’re interested in donating, go to the foundation or organization’s website or call them directly.

“More and more phone scams are out every single day and we just want you to be careful,” Bonney said.

For Cortez, she says this will not stop her from donating, but it will cause her to be more cautious.

“It just made me learn,” Cortez said. “To put my guard up a little bit more, which isn't a bad thing but now I know, just take it to the source.”

Police say do not give out your bank information, IP address or social security number over the phone unless you’re the ones contacting them.

If you feel you’re information may have been stolen, check with your credit bureau, do a credit check or you can contact your local police department.