Police crook meets real police in Tracy | News, Sports, Jobs
TRACY – A con artist posing as law enforcement found himself talking to a real cop, after a local resident turned himself in to Tracy Police.
Tracy Police Chief Jason Lichty said earlier this week that an area resident had come to his office with his cell phone in hand. The number on their Caller ID was the Tracy Police Department, but the person on the other end was asking for money to pay non-existent fines.
“The scammer actually convinced (the resident) to go into the Dollar General and buy an Apple card to pay his fines without quotes. “ Lichty said. However, the resident and staff at Dollar General in Tracy questioned whether the call was legitimate.
The resident went to Tracy PD’s office and Lichty called the scammer.
“He didn’t want to talk to me. I didn’t have much to say. Lichty said. The crook hung up.
Lichty shared the story on Tracy PD’s Facebook page on Tuesday, along with information on how to recognize a scam call. Lichty said law enforcement did not call people to warn them that there was an arrest warrant against them. Police also won’t call to ask for gift cards or Apple Cards as payment for fines, Lichty said.
“It’s the same with IRS scams, too,” he said. While this can be a common scam, the real IRS will not ask for money or gift cards over the phone.
Another thing to remember is that crooks can try to get caller ID by disguising the phone number they are calling from. They can “parody” local numbers to try to get you to take the call. “I received my own cell phone number to call me” Lichty said. The fraudulent caller in this week’s incident spoofed Tracy PD’s phone number.
Unfortunately, fraudulent phone calls are not only a problem for residents of the Tracy area. “I think this kind of thing happens everywhere”, Lichty said.