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Monterey Police warn of scammers posing as department staff members

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MONTEREY, Calif. (KION-TV) -- Monterey Police is warning residents about a scam targeting residents where the caller impersonates a Monterey Police Department staff member.

Police say they've received several reports from the community regarding the scam.

During the calls the impersonator will identify themselves as a police officer and threaten to arrest them if the person does not provide funds to the caller.

Police say the caller uses different approaches, including persuading the victim into purchasing bitcoin or gift cards and having the victim read serial numbers from the back of the cards to the caller.

The impersonator then uses the serial numbers to get some form of monetary value.

Monterey Police say the caller ID may show numbers belong to local law enforcement agencies, the FBI or IRS. They say the numbers are "spoofed" and not originating from these agencies.

Police say this is one of a number of ways scams can play out. Others relate to playing on victim's emotions by claiming a family member had been kidnapped as well.

Should you receive a suspicious phone call from someone identifying themselves as a Monterey Police Officer, you can call the Monterey Police Department (831-646-3830) to verify the officer is working and needs to speak to you. You can also report it by calling (831) 646-3914.

Crime / Monterey / Monterey County / News
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Victor Guzman

Victor Guzman is the managing editor at KION News Channel 5/46.

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