SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — It’s not every day that a criminal accidentally calls the cops.
A Sacramento police Sergeant got an unusual call Wednesday from a person saying she had a warrant out for her arrest. Sgt. Briggs recognized this was a scam call and had a coworker film the interaction to share on social media. She played along with the scammer to help educate others about these types of scam calls.
In their Facebook post, the police department said, “The following is an actual call and unfortunately in this situation and most other scam callers, there is no follow up that can be done. That’s why it’s so important to protect yourself.”
After telling Briggs she had a warrant, the scammer repeatedly asked for her name. Briggs refused his request and said, “I really don’t want to give my name because if I don’t have a warrant then maybe you guys just have a mistake.”
Eventually, Briggs gave a fake name to the scammer, but he wanted more information, asking for her to verify her home address. She refused to give away any more information, and told the man on the phone she was scared.
“I hear a knock at my door, is that you guys? There’s someone at my door, is that you guys?” Briggs said as someone knocked on the wall in the office.
She then switched into “cop mode” asking the man on the phone his name, his birthday, asking to talk to him face to face. This through the scammer off.
In their video, the police department reminded the public that, “law enforcement will never call to verify warrant information over the phone. Don’t give or verify your personal information.”
If you do get a suspicious phone call, make sure to not give away any personal information to the caller. Instead, try researching what the person is talking about or calling a local non-emergency line if you’re suspicious of the motive.
How do you know if the phone call is a scam? The Federal Trade Commission lists some lines that scammers often use:
- You’ve been specially selected (for this offer).
- You’ll get a free bonus if you buy our product.
- You’ve won one of five valuable prizes.
- You’ve won big money in a foreign lottery.
- This investment is low risk and provides a higher return than you can get anywhere else.
- You have to make up your mind right away.
- You trust me, right?
- You don’t need to check our company with anyone.
- We’ll just put the shipping and handling charges on your credit card.
According to the FTC, in just the first five months of this year, $1,400 people have been contacted by scammers posing as police. The average victim of a phone scammer loses about $1,000.
They estimate people have lost more than $450 million to phone scams since 2014.