Gwinnett PD warn public of scam phone calls involving fake police officers

press release from Gwinnett County Police Department

(Lawrenceville, Ga., July 8, 2024) – There has recently been a renewed wave of scam phone calls from people claiming to be officers with the Gwinnett County Police Department.  Victims of these scams are often called randomly by people pretending to be police officers.  The names they provide may be a real officer’s name or a fake name with a fake badge number.  Generally, the scam caller threatens arrest, or some other action if money is not provided to them.   Variations on this scam include:

  • A utility or service will be immediately terminated if payment isn’t received.
  • A relative who has been arrested needs money for bail or to remove a charge.
  • Immediate payment is needed for an outstanding warrant/ticket, or the victim will be arrested.
  • Missed jury duty resulting in possible criminal charges.
  • A pre-approved loan is available, or a lottery has been won, if the victim will send a small start-up fee.
  • An immigration authority is claiming a person will be deported if payment isn’t received.

A common method involves the suspect asking for payment on prepaid debit cards (such as Green Dot), gift cards, cryptocurrency (such as Bitcoin), or wire transfer, all of which are appealing to criminals because the money is difficult to track.

Scammers may use a computer program to make a caller I.D. show a legitimate agency’s phone number, or any other number they want, which makes the scam more believable. The Gwinnett County Police Department will never ask for payment of any sort over the phone.

Prevention tips

  • Be suspicious of anyone calling and demanding immediate payment, especially by:
    • prepaid debit card (such as Green Dot)
    • gift cards
    • cryptocurrency (such as bitcoin)
    • wire transfer
    • cash via FedEx or other courier
  • Ask for the caller’s identity and independently contact the agency. Do not call the number that appears on your caller I.D.
  • Do not disclose personal or financial information to unsolicited callers or by email.
  • Do not wire money or provide bank account numbers or financial transaction card numbers (credit, debit, Green Dot, or any other prepaid card) to anyone you don’t know.

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