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Bay Area Law Enforcement Warns Of Phone Scams

Toni Hou
Flickr / Creative Commons

San Francisco police issued a warning about a string of phone scams in the category of "caller-ID spoofing," in which the phone number displayed looks like it is coming from the Police Department. The caller asks either for donations or cites an outstanding warrant the recipient of the call needs to pay off immediately.

The scam warning from the Alameda County Sheriff's Office described a slightly different scam. Deputies there had a recent in-person encounter with a man who said he was on the phone with someone who claimed to have kidnapped his daughter. The caller demanded that the man remain on the phone — preventing him from checking on his daughter — and wire $6,000 to Mexico from a Walmart in exchange for her safe return. Ultimately, sheriff’s deputies thwarted the crime before the man sent the money.

The sheriff’s office says such scams happen more frequently than the public realizes. They encourage anyone who receives such a call to contact their local law enforcement agency for help.