You are here

Scammers Impersonate the Police

Share this page

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 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


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.

I got a call from 281-205-8803. He said his name was John green. He asked my name and I gave it and asked to know more and a refused to provide more details. He insisted about prying more to know myself and when I continued to refuse he said he'll contact my sheriff department and have me arrested and will cease my bank accounts and driver license and my SSN. Should take this seriously?

Never give out or confirm financial or other sensitive information, including your bank account, credit card, or Social Security number, unless you know who you're dealing with. Scam artists  can use your information to commit identity theft — charging your existing credit cards, opening new credit card, checking, or savings accounts, writing fraudulent checks, or taking out loans in your name.

My relatives received a call on their land line from "Deputy Michael Campbell at the Columbia County Sheriff's office" looking for me (using a previous version of my name that I haven't used in over 4 years). He was suspiciously pushy but wasn't given much info. They called me with his name and phone number along with his message that it was "urgent." Suspecting it was a scam, I called the Columbia County Sheriff's administrative department directly who confirmed they had no officer by that name and the phone number I was given did not belong to any of their office phones or officers' cell phones. I was then transferred to the fraud department where I left a message for a legit officer with all the details I had (haven't heard back yet, not sure I will). The number given by the scammer was 706-538-2180. It's probably a throw away cell or google voice number but just in case someone searches for it wondering if it's a scam, they'll come across it here.

I have to admit that I want to call the number back just for fun and jerk the guy around (and while he's tied up on the phone with me, he's not scamming someone else) but I don't want to reveal my cell or work numbers in the process. Still, the temptation is strong to find out all the scammy details. It's times like these I wish we still had pay phones. *sigh*

I think one of the big "tip offs" that it's probably a scam is when the person starts getting angry or threatening. Police and IRS don't get uptight about this kind of thing. If you legitimately owe money, they have procedures to follow that I'm pretty sure don't include temper tantrums on the phone.

I received a phone call yesterday and they said I had received a grant that I did not have pay back for 60 thousand dollars. I asked how could that be .Since I owed the IRS. And I am now disabled .I finally hung up on them.Today I got a call from an Indian speaking man that told me he was from the sheriff Department and that the IRS was demanding 2 thousand dollars Now.And I stated I am disabled and have nothing to give them .They asked me were I was at home,outside or work? Then told me that the police were on their way to arrest me.I called the telephone number back and when they answered it they new who I was before I even said anything.The called id said Florida #772-212-1637

I received 2 calls from 646 area saying I was gonna be arrested if I did not return calls on 4 charges. I never been to NYC nor been in trouble. What should I do?

I was scammed for $1600. They faked the passport and also the house. Because I'm in another country so I can't get there to see how it was. They use this address to reach me. Please help me!
This is the address they use: bian @ robins-morton

Someone called and use my no as for to pretend as police and now what how can I provw its not me that person is calling me to tell me that I am scamming her , seriously dont know what to do in this situation

If a human is talking to you telling you that he's going to arrest you or whatever
th e scam is. By a police whistle hold the phone away from your ear and blow as hard as you can in the mouthpiece.

I had a person say that they r a Breckenridge agent and was going to put me on like YouTube,are they true?? They want money to not do it also.

This sounds like a scam. You can call the Breckenridge police department to report it. You also can report the imposter to the FTC at Select the category “Scams and Rip-offs” then “Impostor Scams”.

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

I was told I could get grant money started through Facebook messenger someone asked to add you then lays it out that they got money shows that they did you text this # then they ask you info through text then ask for $700 dollars then keeps harassing you till you threaten to call police then they cuz you out I kept all text and #s going to take to local police department

I've been called by an unknown number so many times claiming I have an arrest warrant under my name by the IRS. What else can I do besides decline the phone call?

just got a call saying i have 4 serious charges against me , and if i dont call back the local cops will pick me up ---------------- serious lol

I got a call from a guy in Chicago Illinois claiming to be a detective Collins and told me that I had to pay him money through Western Union for bail I freaked out and sent him money but the money that I sent was in someone else name well after losing a lot of money I self respect and hurting so many people I filed a police report and I also talked to the FBI but yet some how he keeps calling and thearting me what do I do now

If someone threatens you, you can contact the police.

Someone called me about a 3,000 loan. They put 497$ in my bank account. Then told me I had to send it back to ensure that I was a real person. They told me to go to Walgreens and get a Google play card and put the money on there then send it back and in the next three minutes I will get the three thousand dollars.

That sounds like a scam. If they send you a bad check, and you send them $497 before your bank finds out it is a bad check, you will lose $497.  If you send them money and the bank finds out later that the check is bad, you will have to repay the bank all the money you withdrew.

I GOT A CALL FROM A 7472019701 thy said I have allagashins against me n I need pay them or I'm going jail

I keep getting calls from people like Scam like after I told them if call the police

Have been getting recorded calls from different numbers on my cell threatening me that I have 4 allegations against me and that they are sending the cops. That I should call them back. Some of these numbers are (828)367-37-31 and (775)4104122

Getting calls from 515-897-3356 stating if my husband does not return call he will be "arrested by local cops" (their wording). If it was legit I can't imagine them using the slang "cops". Please advise what needs to be done about this. My husband has received at least 4 calls since Nov 2017. Last call came in today 3/9/2018.

This FTC article about blocking unwanted calls has some ideas about your options.

I was in the middle of a FaceTime call with my friend and I got a different call in the middle. I hung up with my friend for a moment to answer the call. It said that if I paid $386, I'd get an inflatable snowman. I started laughing and hung up.

Why would I even buy an inflatable snowman for $386 anyway?

I just now got a call from IRS department stating that I have outstanding tax amount and within 45 min cops will be at my place if I hung up the call or didn't pay the amount. When I told them that IRS always sends letter or notices in written, they said we did but it was bounced back to us as there was no one at the address. the year for which they were asking I was not in the USA even. I told this to them and then they said someone else did this fraud in your name. I hung up the call stating I need to talk to my husband and immediately I started getting calls from +911 and +1011911 stating that its sheriff from Marion County and they are coming to arrest me. I dont know what all this really is?

I got a call today (8/20/2018) from a very strange sounding man saying he's calling from the San Francisco Police Department. The off thing was the number did match the SFPD number when I googled it. He passed me onto another man who is supposed to be a senior officer (or investigative officer? i forget) who claimed to be Allan Parish from SFPD. They said that my social security and ID have been found in an abandoned car at the South Texas border. Apparently it had drugs in it too. I'm not sure what they were going to request from me, but when I wanted to know more information about Allan Parish and what exactly his title is at the SFPD, he got testy and said something like "you can track the number, it's the SFPD number", but when I pressed for more information about him, he said "you can hang up the call and the federal government will begin taking immediate legal action against you" and when I kept asking, he hung up. I called the actual SFPD and they verified that it was a scam. They also said that when the police department calls the number will not show on our phone. It'll either say "Unknown caller" or "Blocked."

I received a strangely similar call today (3/6/19). They "patched" me through to the alleged Daryl Fong from his listed number (415) 575-6000. They said a police officer would appear at my door tomorrow morning to deal with the matter, which involved getting new social security numbers and having my assets frozen. He also said that I would have to go through the ADR process with the Texas District Attorney, which struck me as completely odd. The person also got testy as well when I pressed for more information about him and started to speak faster. When I told him that I was an attorney, that was when he promptly hung up the phone. Be careful everyone!

I just got a phone call saying that If I don't call them back that law enforcement will come to get me. 657-242-3935

Just received a call with caller id as 911.
I ignored the first time but the caller kept calling.
"I am officer ... from 911 call center calling about a serious matter. Please state your name ..."
I just answered that their caller id is showing up Unknown and hung up.

A call saying it was the police and they found charges against me and are coming for an arrest and to call them right back. Name of caller: Johnston, V phone # is: 248-292-1157

I feel like I've been scammed and I am positive I am scammed, I've been given and been provided with an I.D. of someone else's that may also have been scammed as I did.. can I bring it into my local police department and turn in the I.D. of some one who I think maybe a scammer?

Today I got a call from +911 3 times, I was able to pick last call and guy who called me as David, said that I will be arrested, I said Ok, then says please don't change the location, I responded Ok
then he cut the call
please don't get into trouble if you get these type of calls, just ignore

I just received my second call and Caller ID said Alton Police Department. Of course I picked up....and it was a solicitation for health insurance. I called the Police Department and there's nothing they can do. SO tired of solicitor robocalls!!!

I got a number from 4062058605, they were impersonating the police department of a city where the number isn't even from. I don't understand why people impersonate the police just to try and intimidate you. Do not trust this number!

A man called my daughter’s cellphone Yesterday stating that he was Trent Stevens a homicide detective. He told my daughter he found her friends phone (which he texted her from first requesting a number to call her about her friends murder) at a crime scene and needed information. Once my daughter burst into tears saying her friend was murdered; I quickly took the phone and introduced myself as the mother. He preceded to tell me that he found my daughter’s friends phone at a crime scene and he was shot in the head. Once the conversation ended I asked my daughter to forward me the text messages that he sent from her friends phone number. Once I notice that the details that the guy told me on the phone didn’t match the text messages; I become suspicious. So I called this phone number back that I’m reporting asking for a Trent Stevens. The man who answered the phone said he is not Trent Stevens and he let a homeless man use his phone. His name is Bob and works at a car dealership in Florida. I still felt like something wasn’t right. I called her Friends number and a man answered and said he was a Lyft driver and someone left their phone in his car, so he stole it and he likes it then hung up on me once a mention a homicide detective texted me. So I sent my daughter’s friend ( the one who was suppose to be dead) a message on his Instagram then I video called him. Her friend answered the video call and my daughter was relieved and in tears of joy to see her friend was not dead. Her friend told us he left his phone in a lyft and the driver said he can’t have his phone back after he contacted him about the lost phone. This sick man has been reported to Lyft and the Florida police department for theft and impersonating a homicide detective.

Got 5 or 6 calls from 936-647-1100 stating they are officer Kelly Williams from the ss office and I have fraudulent charges and they are going to file legal charges against me. Called them back all times told them to quit calling and that they were not from the SS office.

608-261-9694‬ on my caller ID. Caller said they were the police & had a warrant for my arrest. Said I skipped out on jury duty & would go to jail unless I paid $2,500 now. I hung up & Googled the number. It's to the Madison Police Admin Bldg! I just did jury duty in 2017. Ridiculous.

I have been called two weeks in a row, wont donations for my local Police Department. Phone number (17314195228). Of course I couldn't get a word in edge wise. So I started repeating, But the point is, But the point is, finally he said what is the point. You have called me two weeks in a row for the same thing. I live on a limited income, and I am disable with a broke neck. He wouldn't hearing that so I said come get me I am ready to go to Jail, Let the jail pay all of my Doctors and Medications because i can not afford it. After the call I blocked the number. Just thought this was worth sharing.


Leave a Comment