(Last Updated On: July 23, 2021)

Police Impersonation Scam Phone Calls

How Scams Work

A SCARS Series

How To Spot A Police Impersonation Scam Phone Call?

Scammers (Especially From India) Frequently Call And Pretend To Be Local Police Or Other Agencies

Scam phone calls are common, pretending to be from the police or other entities you trust – like your local police or sheriff is becoming more common.

The goal of these fake phone calls is usually to try and get your personal information or your bank details or your money. The scammers/fraudsters will then try to encourage you to make a bank transfer into a bank account they have access to or receive money in some other way, such as gift cards. They can often sound very real,

They count on your fear and anxiety to confuse you!

Police Impersonation Scams

Depending on where you are, police impersonation scams behave differently.

In the U.S. & Canada, it is usually based on a threat of jail or imprisonment because the victim has not done something, such as pay a fine, skipped jury duty, or failed to respond to something. In the UK they are typically calling to help the victim solve some other issue like a bank account transaction or account take-over.

They may claim to be the police, sheriff, FTC, ActionFraud. Secret Service, FBI or NCA or RCMP, Homeland Security, IRS or HMRC or others. These are similar to the typical Tax or Social Security fraud calls.

How They Work

How To Spot One Of These Police Impersonation Scam

Police impersonation scammers often use scare tactics to get people to do what they ask. The scammers will try to build up trust by saying they’re from the police or another agency. Sometimes they will tell you that you will be arrested if you don’t go along with what they’re asking you to do. Or they’ll tell you that by doing what they say, you’ll be helping them to catch a criminal.

This is what a Police Impersonation Scams could look like:

The scammers might ask for your help with a Police Investigation – these scams can start with someone calling you and pretending to be the police investigating someone at your bank or a fraudulent transaction. They will ask for your help to catch the person involved in this fraud. They might tell you that your account is at risk and that you need to move your money out of your account as soon as possible to a safe “holding” account so that they can catch the fraudster in the act. These scammers pretending to be the police might tell you that if you move your money into a safe account they will immediately reverse the transaction and the money will never really leave. They’ll often tell you it is to protect your money.

The scammers might say you’ll be arrested if you don’t pay overdue taxes or fines or penalties – scammers pretending to be from the police might also tell you that you have overdue taxes/fines/penalties owed. They’ll often say that they will arrest you immediately if you don’t pay this amount and provide your bank details or demand that you go to a local store to buy a gift card. The reasons could be many: traffic tickets, failed to show for jury duty, other fines, tax penalties, a judgment from a lawsuit, back taxes, etc. They’ll often use scare tactics like threaten you with immediate arrest or claim they can cancel your passport or driver’s license.

THE REAL POLICE WILL NEVER:

  • They will never ask you to transfer money to a new account to help catch a fraudster at your bank, even if they tell you the account is in your name
  • They will never call about a fine, penalty, or taxes owed
  • If an arrest warrant has been issued in your name they will either come to where you are and arrest you or ask you to come to the police station – always make sure to have an attorney if you go
  • They will never ask you for your bank card PIN number or your online banking details, or any personal information
  • They will never ask you to send money anywhere, for any reason
  • They will never come to your home to collect cash, your PIN, your bank card, or your checkbook
  • They will never ask you to buy anything on your card, and then hand it over to them for safekeeping
  • They will never threaten you with arrest over the phone for failing to comply with any of the things they have asked you to do
  • They will never call you to say they’re going to arrest you because of overdue taxes, fines, or penalties or anything similar
  • They will never pressure you into taking action immediately
  • They will never tell you that you must make the bank transfer and that your account is at risk – if it was they would resolve this without you ever knowing
  • They will also never say that you could lose all your money if you don’t move it immediately – financial institutions are secure and insured – your money is safe in the bank – always
  • They will never threaten to cancel your passport or driver’s license – if they are going to do it, they will just do it and you will find out later

If This Happens To You?

If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from the police for the above reasons, it is a scam. You should hang up immediately and call your local police about this. They can contact the phone provider and trace the call number – it may be in India or elsewhere, but at least they are aware and can begin to take action.

Government agencies do not call to collect money. They will use the mail.

As with all phone calls you receive about anything like this, it is most likely a scam or fraud.

JUST HANG UP

If you have already been scammed call your local police at once!

Always report the phone number on www.Anyscam.com too!

Always Report All Scams – Anywhere In The World To:

Go to reporting.AgainstScams.org to learn how

U.S. FTC at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/?orgcode=SCARS and SCARS at www.Anyscams.com
Visit reporting.AgainstScams.org to learn more!