Scammers Impersonate the Police

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We know scammers are out there, impersonating the authorities and conjuring up different schemes to fool people into giving them money. They might say they’re calling from the IRS because you owe taxes. Or claim they’re from the FTC, calling to help you recover money lost to a scammer. But now we’re hearing about a new ploy: scammers are impersonating the police! That takes some chutzpah, huh? Here’s how it works.

You get a phone call. Someone you care about is in jail and, they say, you need to pay up to bail him out. The scam-detecting radar in your head immediately goes off. You’re skeptical – but the caller ID says the call is from the police department. And, let’s be honest, your nephew is a knucklehead and you can totally imagine him being arrested. So, you keep listening.

The caller tells you to put money on a prepaid card and give him the card number. Now your scam-detecting radar is going off the charts. You know that police departments — and the federal government, for that matter — don’t tell people to pay with prepaid cards. You also know using a prepaid card is like paying cash — once the money is gone, you can’t get it back.

“But what about the caller ID?” you wonder. In fact, what seems like reliable information about the source of a call isn’t so reliable anymore. Scammers can rig caller ID to look like they’re calling from the police department. Or, really, anywhere — even your own number. Don’t rely on caller ID. It’s not foolproof. Scammers can easily spoof it to try to gain your trust. If it looks like the police are calling, look up the non-emergency phone number (hint: it’s not 9-1-1) and call to find out if the story is legit. You’ll soon learn it’s a scam.

Report the imposter to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. Select the category “Scams and Rip-offs” then “Impostor Scams”.

To learn more, read Government Imposter Scams or listen to these tips.

Tagged with: government, imposter, phone, scam

Comments

I got a call from a Roger Mason claiming to be from Jefferson County Legal Department and told me that I needed to be at home or work between 12 and 5 tomorrow (he has told me this about ten times now) or I would be arrested. Claiming that I owe some debt from like 09 that I am about ninety percent sure is not legit. Either way, they are impersonating our local authorities and I am pretty sure that is not legal.

BEWARE of the following numbers: 225.406.8591 with call back # 509.428.2146. This person will threaten you with being "taken away in handcuffs" because of felony IRS charges, not responding to summons, etc. DO NOT BE FOOLED! This person will try to scare and intimidate you into verifying your personal information, including your SSN.

Got this on my voicemail at home:
Voicemail from (352) 275-5686
"I would like to talk with you regarding an enforcement action executed by the United States treasury intending your serious attention. Ignoring this will be an intentional second attempt. To avoid initial appearance before the magistrate judge or grand jury for federal criminal offense. My number is 352-275-5686. I repeat it's 352-275-5686. I'd like you to cooperate with us and help us to help you. Thank you. Bye."

I have received the same voice mail numerous times over the past few months from different numbers and names. who stops these guys?

Got a call from a person trying to be Police Officer Daniel Smith, badge number 14476, Washington PD. This was regarding tax fraudulent with a case number registered against me by IRS, according to him. After a series of questionnaire, he started posing to be more demanding and threatening, that if I did not comply with his advice (paying $1840) within 60 to 90 mins, the case would be automatically closed and that meant an arrest warrant in my name with police showing at my doorstep to put me into jail. And this was his last call. The number he called 4254569637 goes to the IRS number, though. I contacted the local police dept. and even called Washington PD to find that it was definitely scam. No police officer calls on behalf of IRS in such a manner. Just letting know, in case you might get similar call. They will even say the case ID number and warrant ID issued under you name for arrest.

Received a call from a male identifying himself as an IRS agent (heavy foreign accent). He said I was under investigation for failing to pay taxes ($49,000) and wanted money immediately. He began fishing for personal information and of course I provided none. He said he was coming to my house and would arrest me and put me in prison. When I told him that wasn't going to happen, he became upset, and said "I will come to your house and cut your head off with an ax". I let him know that I am a well-armed, retired law enforcement officer and it would be the last house call he would ever make. Sometimes, keeping these creeps engaged brings out their true intent.

I got something like that from an indian guy or something like that stating they were from the us treasury watch out people

I have received numerous harassing calls from scammers who claim that they are collecting monetary donations for the American Federation of Police Officers- sometimes they say it's for "the County Sheriff's Office" , or it's for "the State Troopers". I don't have a college education, but I know a scam when I hear one!!

I received a call at 12:46 pm from a person claiming to be an IRS agent today claiming that a warrant was out for my arrest regarding taxes. My taxes are paid. Attorney general office Mr Altman refered me to make a complaint with your office. The return call they left is 703-543-9645 ,please investigate.

Thank you for sharing your experience. We can't address complaints that come through the blog comments. Please go to ftc.gov/complaint to report this.

On January the 6th,I had received two calls at different times & the caller identified himself as from the IRS,and said I owe money to the IRS and that the Sheriff department will be at my home soon to arrest me.The # from which the caller made is: 202-681-3882.

On 1/8/16 I encountered a similar IRS/Sheriff Dept scam called similar to hafsai13 1/7/16 post. First call came in at 9:30 from 716-858-8095 which I missed and a voicemail was left from James Caller with the Erie County Sheriff's office claiming I will be arrested if I do not call Officer Sean Wutz with IRS at 202-754-8404. I returned the call and he claimed if I do not pay $2750 or at least 50% to $1000 immediately I will be arrested at home or work. I asked a lot of questions and gave little info because I was puzzled because my taxes are paid. As a result I put a 90 fraud alert on the credit report agencies just to be safe.

202-798-7300 called yesterday, 11Jan16, stating that he "was with the U.S. Government." After I asked him what kind of scam was he running he apologized for calling and then hung up. Maybe I should call him in the middle of the night....

I also just received a call from 202-754-8404 saying that I needed to turn myself in- I am hoping this is also a scam? They said it was officer Lee Chandler and that I had a complaint filed against me by Officer Thomas O'Brien.

Same thing... 4 felonies. I'm a school teacher, far from being a felon.

Same thing... 4 felonies. I'm a school teacher, far from being a felon.

I just received a call from 202-754-8404 by a man claiming to go by Officer Greg Martin, however the individual had an extremely STRONG accent. He addressed me as Mr. M (my first name, not Mr. Price) and claimed that I had serious deficiency in my income tax and I needed to call immediately because there are serious allegations against me. This really needs to be investigated and taken care of immediately as there are many elderly people that would be intimidated by a caller such as this and will pay money to them.

I got a call showing up on my caller ID as 911. When I answered it was a foreign accented person stating they were with the VA State police and that they had a warrant out for my arrest claiming I had gotten a loan that I had taken out. I hung up on them.

I got a call from 704-682-1703 saying that I will get arrested if I don't call them back which made me worried I don't know if this is a scam or not.

I got a call today from an unknown number and the person said this is Gary Black calling from the 911 State Police Department. I did not say anything and hung up! The person called twice more. I did not say anything and hung up both times. After that, I have stopped receiving calls - hope this scammer doesn't call again!

Yeah, even I got a call asking my name and then nothing much happened.

I got a call from the same Officer Gary Black today threatening I had tax issues with IRS and I had to provide my location so they could come and arrest. I then called up 911 to complain about this and they guaranteed that if they really had an arrest warrant for me, they would not be calling me to find my whereabouts.

The most recent telephone numbers linked to the IRS impersonation scam are; 2022392041 2022392551 2022414821 2062045022 3022203931 3023279048 3054071377 5407290215 7168036165 7188739187 7656027070 2028005644 3128789024 8703950605 3474343415 4093565013 6122065225

Someone called my grandad's home phone and claimed he was from the police department he said his name was officer Blake and that he was calling about an inspection and he wouldn't tell me which police department he was with

Yesterday I received a call from Danial Smith. He is a big faker. He told me that you did not pay the taxes for your international transaction and asked me to pay 1360$. He said I am calling from Colorado police department. His badge number is 14476. It was really miserable, they are trying to threaten international students to deport them from United State. I got a call from this numbers (7195795227). He said to go to Moneygram and send me money on this name (Jonty Elroy Minnesota). Alternatively, he asked me to buy Itunes cards.

Caller ID: 7705135000 Here's an excerpt from the Voicemail: "This is a message for . , this is Officer Lee Chandler and I am calling you from the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office with Badge ID 4927. , we were trying to get a hold of you, because we have received a case and complaint against you, from an Officer by the name Thomas O'Brien who is working with the Internal Revenue Service.....so I want you to step down to your nearest police department and surrender yourself or else speak with Officer Thomas O'Brien... Please call 202-754-8239 and you can see what's going on...MAKE SURE , you get in touch with this officer as soon as possible, and resolve this matter before you will be get arrested..." NOTE: I think I could make out the thick Indian accent of the caller.

Dito. I got exact same call with my local sherriff office contact details :)

I just received a call saying that we have 4 counts against us from the IRS and to not disregard the call. Call them back at 202-754-8404. As a senior citizen, it's a bit scary, but did decide that it is a scam since we have a CPA that did our taxes. Then decided to google the number. I am glad to learn that it is being checked into.

I literally just received a call from 202-754-8404 stating that I had charges against me for not paying my taxes. Although I do owe taxes, I had recently set up a payment plan with them. once I mentioned that, they quickly hung up. I called back and they mumbled something and hung up. I called again and he greeted me as he did on the first call stating the IRS department. I guess he recognized the number because he quickly hung up.

The most recent telephone numbers linked to the IRS impersonation scam are:(917) 285-7821 (202) 239-0497 (206) 900-0965 (213) 289-9244 (315) 704-1376 (469) 351-7852 (516) 209-0007 (610) 657-9733 (760) 933-1327 (818) 532-2005 (929) 244-4741 (202) 836-9985

I just received the same call from 202-754-8404 regarding 4 counts against me and to call back and the robo voice said good luck at the end. Someone really needs to look into this it is very disconcerning.

I got this same call, same number. Said my fine would be $75,000, but if i took care of it bow it would only be $1178. When I mentioned that my best friend is a tax attorney and I would turn the matter over to her, he said expect to be arrested within the hour lol. ...ok!

I just received the same call from 202-754-8404 regarding 4 Federal charges under my name... Same robo voice said good luck at the end. Should I be concerned?

Got same call from 202-754-8404 about four federal charges against me. I am a FED. This needs to be in writing! Don't fall for it!

Got a call fron202-241-4518, saying he if ifficerMike Johnson, collecting a debt. Wanted me to Wesrern Union money to a Kellie Mittchell in Rochester MI. He has a very deep Indian accent. He is continually calling me almost every hour. I called my local law enforcement and the ffcc. also. He also calls from 904-584-2650, but that number is now not in service. He is also calling my work. He also leaves messages that say good luck if I ignore his calls

Male voice, sounded like an Indian accent and he spoke very slowly and deliberately, as if reading... Left a voicemail saying he was an officer, Mike 'Somebody' and that it is an important matter and that a lawyer or myself should call back. If I did not call back, the best of luck to me in my future legal matter. Saved the voicemail just in case. He did not state what precinct or state he was from or say my name in the voicemail. And officers would never threaten you on a phone call in that manner.

A 117jerk with an Indian Accent whi sounded just like a doctor I know, threatened me over the telephone, and said he was from the IRS. I cussed him out, and made a few of my own threats, and contacted him repeatedly. Then I received a phony LITIGATION letter several months later, but I believe it was a totally different scammer. I assisted a Government Agency because when I contacted them about those scams, they were apparently already working on it. Now I received another such scam letter with a different telephone number, address, name, and cash demand amount. Once again, I reported it.This just happened, and the letter along with the envelope will be saved as evidence. Also, when I checked the address on the internet, it came back as an actual house for sale, and also a business. The faces of several realtors popped up. I am intelligent enough NOT to call that toll free number, although it can be fun to make reverse threats, and tell them they are about to be raided by the Feds! They sure become paranoid when you tell them that you know who they really are, and whete they at. A really good psychic would be able to trace these criminals, and I, myself, have been known to be quite intuitive at times.

Just got a phone call with a similar scenario, male with an accent stated I needed to call him back at 561-288-2295, mispronounced 5. Also said not to disregard this matter and either call back or have attorney call back, otherwise, "good luck as this matter unfolds on you"

Got a call this morning Heavy Indian accent saying that I was being arrested for Perjury hung up on him I could not understand him And he called back and left a robotic Lady Talking The SAME thing!#757-966-665

Same exact thing just happened to me as did Baileygirl a few messages back. The "officer" had a strong Indian accent and his number is: (305) 938-0495. I actually called back but after several rings always goes to voicemail.

I have received numerous harassing call from lowlife dirt bags who identify themselves as a "Benevolent Association For Retired Florida State Troopers" - sometime varies with "Police Officers". Yeah, right!! NO State, Federal, OR Local law enforcement agencies are permitted to make solicitations for money on the phone!! Caller ID indicated- UNKNOWN CALLER/UNKNOWN NUMBER. I'm in my late 50's but one thing I DON'T HAVE is Alzheimer's, andI know a SCAM when I hear one!

This FTC article lists questions to ask if a fundraiser calls from a police or fire department service organization.

Most solicitations for police and fire service organizations are made by paid professional fund-raisers.

I received three phone calls over two days in my voice mail, each call from a different number and state area code. Every call had the exact same recorded message. It was a female electronic voice, claiming to be Local cops, saying I had four serious allegations pressed upon my name. Telling me to call the number they gave me, before taking any legal action against me. All the calls were the same voice and message, except for the different phone numbers. It must be a scam, as I am a law abiding citizen. Here are the numbers: (724) 648-3436, (347) 778-0709, (206) 388-4862. I have not called any of the numbers back, because I am concerned that doing so might confirm to them that it is a viable number.

My dad just received a call from a "Sargeant Matthew Este" from the Nashua NH police department telling him he failed to appear for jury duty. My dad is 90 and previously a victim of scamming with the grandson scheme. He asked for info from this person who told him the courthouse was in an area it wasn't. But my dad still called me fearful he maybe had missed something and might be in trouble. The person gave him a phone number. I will be reporting this to the local authorities and the AG office. These people prey on seniors. This should be stopped.

Got a voicemail by a male "cop" with a Chinese accent stating that I needed to call him back at 1 (844) 554-7230. He didn't state my name or the issue, and also said not to disregard this matter and either call back or have attorney call back, otherwise, "good luck as this matter unfolds on you." Left a second voicemail with the same message stating I didn't yet return the call and repeating "and either call back or have attorney call back, otherwise, "good luck as this matter unfolds on you." I believe this is a scam.

I received a recorded call from this number 706 309 0034. It is per White pages primarily an Appling, GA phone. They claimed I was being investigated and if I didn't return their call they were going to turn over the investigation to the county I was in. Being disabled, near elderly, and considered a medical emergency, and near homeless, it's an obvious scam.

I keep getting calls from unknown number impersonating the police saying i have pending case against me! Recently i got a call from this Georgia number 404 455 9111. Beware...

@a bhat - same thing just happened to me. Beware of 404-455-9111 and 844-755-9683.

I just got a call from 404-455-9111, stating he would be here between 3-5 to serve me papers. He stated I needed to call 832-709-1383 with a case number.

I received a call from 404-455-9111 today from someone claiming to be from the RI Attorney General's office, and who had details of paperwork I had submitted. They then hung up on me when I questioned them. I called back the officially listed number for the RI Attorney General's office, eventually reaching the person who called me. They assured me that they don't have such a number.

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