Gatlinburg Police Department warns against telephone scam

GATLINBURG, Tenn.—The Gatlinburg Police Department is issuing a warning to the community about a fraudulent telephone scam, where callers pose as employees of the Gatlinburg Police Department, which appear to originate from the Police Department’s phone number.

The Gatlinburg Police Department is investigating fraudulent telephone calls, in which scammers claim they are from the Gatlinburg Police Department and have warrants for their arrest. Callers then claim that the individuals can pay with a credit card to avoid the arrest. The scammer phones individuals from the police department’s non-emergency number of 865-436-5181.

Appearing to use local phone numbers, especially those of local authorities, is a tactic often used by scammers to make it seem like the phone call originates locally.

“The Gatlinburg Police Department reminds individuals that it will never solicit any type of monetary funds over the telephone,” said Chief Randy Brackins.

If you receive an unsolicited phone call that meets the above description or asks for payment, Gatlinburg Police ask you to take the following steps:

  • Do not take immediate action or engage in any conversation, as scammers may record your response.
  • Do not provide any credit card, banking or any other personal information.
  • Do not send money if a caller tells you to wire money or pay with a prepaid debit card.
  • Do not travel to any location the caller asks you to.
  • Instead, call the Gatlinburg Police Department at 865-436-5181 to report the call.

Gatlinburg Police strongly encourages the community to be active in helping report these types of scam calls. Scammers are consistently devising new schemes. Never provide unsolicited callers with any personal information such as your address, phone number, banking information, credit card account number, social security number or any other personal identification information.

For more information on dealing with scam telephone schemes, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0208-phone-scams.