UPDATED: August 14, 2022

If you receive a phone call from the local police saying that they have a warrant for your arrest, you’d probably be scared. Who wouldn’t be even when you know you did nothing wrong?

Phone scams are prevalent these days, and one of the most common ones is warrant for arrest scams. How do you know if it’s legitimate or not?

Scammers are always trying to find new ways to steal your money and personal information. You need to know the most effective ways to avoid falling victim to their tactics.

In this article, we’ll help you spot fake warrants for arrest calls from real police calls. Arm yourself with the right information, so you don’t easily fall for their lies.

Learn about the first warning sign of a warrant of arrest scam. Keep reading, and don’t miss out on these red flags, so you don’t become one of their victims.  

What is a fake warrant scam?

As the name suggests, a fake warrant scam is a phishing scam that aims to extort money or steal confidential information from its victims. It involves a caller pretending to be your local police, FBI, DEA or an IRS agent and claiming that you have an outstanding warrant for your arrest.

The scammers may cite certain offenses that caused the bench warrant. A few of them are bank fraud, money laundering, or missed jury duty.  

How does a warrant for an arrest scam work?

These calls can be very convincing since the caller knows a lot about you. The caller may know your full name, address, phone number, and in worse cases, your social security number.

The scammer will then threaten that you’ll get arrested unless you pay a fine right away. Most victims of a fake warrant for arrest scam call panic and end up paying the scammer.

When you agree to pay a fine, the scammer will give you directions on how you can make the payment. They may ask you to pay the fine through their preferred method, such as money transfer or prepaid debit card.

The scammer may give you a number to call once you make the payment. After paying the fine, they will tell you that your outstanding arrest warrant has been terminated, without you knowing that you never had any warrant for arrest in the first place.

How to spot a fake warrant scam?

There are many signs that will help you spot a fake warrant scam. There’s one important red flag you need to know. 

Don’t believe anyone who calls you, and says they’re a law enforcement agent, asking you to pay a fine to avoid getting arrested. Your local police will never ask for money to settle your warrant for arrest.

Additionally, you should never provide any of your personal information over the phone, such as your date of birth, Social Security number, or payment details.

If you receive such a call, get as much information as you can from the caller like their name, location, phone number, etc., and report them to your local police department.

Likewise, don’t believe any text messages that say you have a pending warrant of arrest. It’s most likely a scam.

What to do if you’re a victim of a warrant for arrest scam?

If you think you’re a victim of a fake warrant scam, here are a few things you need to do.

How to avoid warrant of arrest scams?

Here are some tips to protect yourself against fake warrant scams.

  • Always remember that a legitimate warrant for your arrest will be served to you in person by a uniformed police officer.
  • A real warrant for arrest has proper paper documentation, which will be presented to you and not done through phone calls.
  • Hang up when the caller pressures you to make payments.
  • Don’t agree to pay the person calling you to cancel or void your warrant of arrest.
  • Never give your personal details over the phone.
  • Ask for a return number and gather as much information about the caller as you can. Then, call your local police department to confirm if a warrant for arrest was issued against you.
  • Never meet anyone who calls and demands payment from you to terminate your arrest warrant.


You should be careful with scam calls. Scammers these days may pretend that they’re from your local police department, the FBI, DEA, IRS, or any authoritative organization.

Always remember that legitimate agents from any of these organizations will not call to tell you that you have a pending warrant of arrest. They will also never ask for money or your personal information to void or cancel your arrest warrant.

If you receive such a call, it’s definitely a scam. Hang up right away and report the incident to the local police. You can also verify if you have an arrest warrant.

Never provide any of your personal or financial information over the phone. Never wire money to callers who pressure you to make payments, whether it’s for an arrest warrant or something similar.

Always take caution and verify it by calling the involved organization. It’s your best defense against any time of scams.