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Salt Lake City authorities warn of police impersonator phone scam

Published May 4, 2013 5:08 pm

Crime • Residents are urged to hang up when phony cops demand their money.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Salt Lake City police warn that a phone scam has been going around in which a police impersonator demands money from the victim.

Since Thursday morning, people have been calling the police department about an unidentified caller who threatened to arrest them if they didn't send the caller money. Though the phone number had an out-of-state area code, when victims returned the call it connected them with the Salt Lake City Police Department records division, according to a news release.

The police recognize the practice, known as "spoofing," in which calls are routed to a different phone number than the one displayed, the release adds.

SLCPD wants to remind the public that they never call people and demand money. If someone owes money on a warrant, the court system handles the payment, not law enforcement.

The police also want to remind people that they should never provide financial information, including credit or debit card numbers, wire transfer reference numbers or MoneyPak card numbers, to anyone on the phone who they didn't call first or whose identity they can't verify. That includes if the caller claims to be a distant family member in distress.

If anyone gets such a call, police advise to just hang up. And if anyone has questions about outstanding warrants, they can check the Utah Department of Public Safety's secure online warrant database.

mmcfall@sltrib.comTwitter: @mikeypanda




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