Beware of fake cops asking for money in phone scam, SLO police say

The San Luis Obispo Police Department asks citizens to be on the lookout for a common scam: phony calls from people claiming to be law enforcement.

In the scam, the victim receives a call from someone pretending to be law enforcement. They either tell the victim that they missed jury duty, received a citation and now have a warrant for their arrest or they tell the victim about a family member who’s been arrested and needs bail money, police said.

The scammer then tells the victim to pay the fines using PayPal, Green Dot cards or gift cards.

On Monday, a victim reported a financial loss from the scam, police said. According to police, the scammer “spoofed” SLO PD’s number and threatened to arrest the victim if they did not make a payment via gift cards.

Courts and law enforcement agencies never ask citizens to pay fines using this type of system, nor do they ask for payment over the phone. People who receive these types of phone calls should call local law enforcement before sending money or providing prepaid credit card numbers to anyone, police said.

Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call the San Luis Obispo Police Department at 805-781-7312 or CrimeStoppers at 805-549-7867.

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF