DON'T FALL FOR IT: Portland Police Bureau warns of phone scammers impersonating officers

FILE

The Portland Police Bureau is warning the community about a phone scam that is currently happening in the metro area.

Officers say they've received reports that callers will contact a person, claiming to be members of a police department or sheriff's office.

Police say the law enforcement impersonator often times refers to the person who answered the phone by name, tells the person that the call is being recorded, and tells the person they missed a court appearance or jury duty.

The caller then says that the person needs to send money or a warrant will be issued for their arrest.

Sometimes these type of scams will including spoofing a legitimate police agency phone number and using the real name of an officer to try to gain the victim's trust, police say.

No government agency of any kind takes gift cards as payments.

The Portland Police Bureau is reminding the public that officers never demand or request money from people under any circumstances, and do not call community members seeking payment for outstanding citations or warrants.

If you are a Portland resident and you fall victim to the scammers, police encourage you to call 503-823-3333.

Tips from Portland Police to help avoid becoming a victim to this scam:

  • Never give personal or financial information to an unsolicited caller or email.
  • Be suspicious of callers who demand immediate payment for any reason.
  • Stay private. Regularly update privacy settings for social media sites. Scammers often make their stories more believable by trolling for personal information on Facebook, Twitter and similar sites.
  • Utility companies and government agencies will never contact you for payment by GreenDot, MoneyPak or Vanilla Reload.
  • Remember that anyone who has the number on a prepaid card has access to the funds on your card.
  • Never wire money, provide debit or credit card numbers to a stranger.
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