Scammers Impersonate the Police

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 got a call yesterday saying they were from social security and that I was picked for a $5,789.00 non taxable grant only thing I had to do was wire them $400.00 than they would wire me back the money I also got a call from some one claiming to be a credit card debit reilfe guy he said they could help me get my credit card debt paid off and my taxs,paid off but I would have to pay them if they helped me I told them I don't owe taxs,nor do I owe anything on creditcards

This is so true. Someone called yesterday asking to speak to my husband and claimed to be from IRS. It sounded so fishy, I asked "What IRS?" and she says, "you know the real IRS." LOL! She hung up when I told her to write us a letter about the matter.

Good information, but........pls tell us what FTC is doing to terminate such illegal activity. In recent months, the number of telephone calls, with a false ID number has increased, including calls from my own number. Likewise, am now getting more and more e-mails from multiple businesses,none of which I have requested. Simply put,I keep reading about the problem, but read nothing about the solution. Sure, occasionally, a report is seen about some business that is being prosecuted, but never and report on whether they were found guilty, fined, sent to jail.... If the criminals cals be tech savvy, why can't our government agencies do the something to immediately counteract illegal activity.

You can find information about FTC Cases and Proceedings at

So when you catch a scammer what question should you ask them so that you will be sure that they are lying

What about when I call the FTC and they impersonate the FTC? Feigning that they will act on my complaint, passing the buck and telling me it's not their department while I get ripped off? Who is the scammer then?

Thanks for the info.

Thanks so much for this advise, it helps

i;m still gitin robokalls! how do i report this and too who? ams alredy on the kall list!.

Report robocalls to


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