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Protect yourself from Imposter Phone Scams

Scammers are notorious for pretending to be someone you would normally trust, and who better for scammers to pretend to be than your local law enforcement.

Consumers should be aware of phone scams in which the scammers spoof the main line number of the local police or sheriff ’s office to contact their victims and falsely advise that they are part of an ongoing investigation and need to cooperate in order to avoid criminal charges. The victim is then instructed to purchase Visa gift cards that will later be collected by an “officer” via phone, text, or email.

This is a common phishing scam operating from outside the United States. All the scammers need are the gift card numbers to access the victim’s money through the gift card issuer’s website. Once they have the money, it is nearly impossible for a victim to recover. Gift cards are for gifts not for paying bills, fees, or fines. Additionally, local police and sheriff ’s offices will not ask for your financial information or sensitive data over the phone, and they will not try to persuade you to purchase anything on behalf of law enforcement.

If you receive calls like this, hang up and call local law enforcement to report it.

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