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Citrus Heights police warn of phone scammers claiming to be law enforcement officers

Published: Friday, Feb. 21, 2014 - 6:42 pm

Citrus Heights police are warning people of a phone scam in which the caller claims to be a law enforcement officer with a warrant for the individual’s arrest.

Police say the scam is occurring throughout California, with numerous victims reporting suspicious calls from someone who claims to be a law enforcement officer. The caller tells the potential victim that there is a bench warrant for the individual’s arrest and that a payment is needed as soon as possible. The caller instructs the victim to pay the amount requested via wire transfer or arrest is imminent, according to a Police Department news release.

Police stress that this is not the way law enforcement agencies operate, and they urge anyone who receives such a call to ignore the caller’s instructions.

Instead, people are advised to report the calls to their local law enforcement agency. Citrus Heights residents can call the Police Department’s non-emergency number, (916) 727-5500.

Police advise residents to be suspicious of any unsolicited phone calls. To avoid becoming the victim of a scam:

• As a general rule, never respond to a telephone call, email or mail request to send money through a wire service.

• Consider any request to send the money to another country to be fraud.

• If you get a caller ID number, check the Internet to see whether there are scam alerts associated with the number.

• If you receive calls threatening arrest, deportation or other actions, call local law enforcement or legal aid agencies for advice.

• Never give personal information – name, birth date, Social Security number, bank account information – over the phone unless you initiate the call.

• Be wary of anyone who calls asking for personal identifying information that might be used to access credit or finances.

• For questions about possible outstanding debt, or to check your credit report, contact one of the three major credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian or TransUnion.

Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

Read more articles by Cathy Locke

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