21Investigates: Scam Tracker -- Phony Police Scams

Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 5:53 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - Phony police scams are when someone pretends to be police officer, or members of an organization raising money for police and they try to get your money.

Experts say a lot of times, these calls will sound legit. Those people may even try to guilt you into giving them money, but instead of that money going to charity, they want it to go right in their own pocket.

“If you get a call and you suspect it’s not legitimate, hang up,” Better Business Bureau of Northern Indiana President Rick Walz said. “People are reluctant to hang up, but you have the right to do that.

It sounds simple, but you could still get sucked into staying on the line and giving away your money. Robo call blocking company Nomorobo says at the end of 20-21, police phone call scams were the most common types of phone scams.

“When a company is calling you illegally, it’s not a company you want to do business with,” Walz said. “When you get a robocall, don’t press any numbers. Instead of letting you speak with a live operator or remove you from their call list, it may lead to you getting more robocalls.”

Walz says consider call blocking or call labeling. The scammer may also text or email you. Walz recommends if the scammer claims to be with a certain charity, do your research. If you end up paying a scammer, contact your credit card company immediately if you paid by card. As always, make sure you report these scams.

“The reports you provide help prevent others from being victimized by the same scams,” Walz said. “We know crimes of all types are under-reported.”

There are some cases where the scammers pretend to be police officers and may tell you to pay them, or you’ll be arrested. Keep in mind, that’s illegal and it’s important you let the agency they claim to be a part of know right away.

If you get scammed, here are some resources:

Do you have a scam you want us to look into? Reach out to 21Alive’s Tylor Brummett. You can send a message on Facebook or send an email to tylor.brummett@gray.tv.