Scammers pretend to be Madera Police
MADERA, Calif. (FOX26) —
Imagine you get a call from someone claiming to be an officer at the Madera Police Department. That's exactly what happened to Stephanie Alcala.
"We got a call and we noticed that it said Madera PD or the City of Madera, something like that. I answered and it sounded like a robot call. Someone got on the phone said hello. I didn't say anything and it hung up," said Alcala.
Alcala says the same thing happened to her mother. A number on the caller ID showed up as the Madera Police Department and the caller addressed her by name. "Someone was really aggressive whoever it was, they were aggressive about wanting money. I was like, 'Oh! You need to report it to Madera Police Department,'" said Alcala.
After receiving several similar reports from people about receiving suspicious calls. The Madera Police Department issued a Facebook scam alert to warn people. Corporal Alicia Keiser says, the police will never call someone and demand, that they pay money over the phone. She says that's a red flag that someone is 'spoofing' the caller.
"There are phone applications that you can use, that you can mask and put whatever name and phone number that you want to show that you are calling from. This is a common practice by people who are committing fraud and scams," said Keiser.
There are ways to protect yourself. Keiser says you should never give any personal information out either. Especially when you are uncertain of the caller.
“Generally with scams they are going to ask for some type of prepaid card. They ask for the card number, you provide them the number and your money is gone," said Keiser.
Now that police have revealed it is a scam, Alcala hopes people wont fall for it.
“You can't take someone for their word. Especially these days, I contact them back to verify if it is legitimate,” said Alcala.
There are no reports of anyone falling for the scam. If you receive from the Madera Police Department you can call 559-675-4220 and verify with dispatch the person calling you.