Alert: Scammers pretend to be local police departments when calling residents

The cyber crimes unit in the Mercer County Prosecutor’s office is investigating recent telephone scams where callers spoof the non-emergency telephone numbers for various police departments in an attempt to scam residents. Scammers claim falsely that the resident has a warrant out for their arrest. 

Law enforcement will never ask for payment of any type over the phone and will never ask for personal identifying information that could be used for fraudulent purposes. Law enforcement and government agencies will also never ask you to pay by unusual methods, such as gift cards, wire transfers, or cryptocurrency.

Scammers research potential victims on the internet and social media. Then they call and deceive their targets into thinking the callers are law enforcement officers, prosecutors, or police employees.  Scammers may spoof a law enforcement telephone number, making it show up to on the victim’s caller ID to look like the real law enforcement phone number.  The caller then threatens the resident with arrest for outstanding warrants or other legal issues.

If you receive a call from a police department within Mercer County or the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, please confirm who you are speaking with. If you believe you received a scam telephone call, hang up and call the number back.  If the call is legitimate, you’ll be connected with a police dispatcher or receptionist who can verify the caller’s identity.  Report scam calls to your local law enforcement agency.