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Warning: Police aren’t calling you, new scam duping Utah residents

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Posted at 2:02 PM, Jan 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-22 16:04:39-05

prepaid cards scam green dot

SALT LAKE CITY – The Salt Lake City Police Department is warning residents of a scam with a new twist.

Investigators said they are seeing more people falling prey to the prepaid card phone scam.

They said now the scammers are impersonating law enforcement; when victims answer the phone, the caller ID shows the number of the Salt Lake City Police Dept.

It’s called “caller ID spoofing.”

The suspected scammers falsify the telephone number and name displayed to disguise their identity.

Officials said as many as six cases a day are being reported in Salt Lake City.

The suspects previously represented themselves as officials or government representatives and are now telling victims they are with Salt Lake police and the victim has warrants out for their arrest.

The suspect then tells the victim to load money onto prepaid card, like MoneyPak/Green Dot, to clear the debt or warrant.

Once the victim gives the security code from the card, the suspect remotely withdraws the money with no way for the victim to get it back.

Officials said Green Dot MoneyPak cards are not linked to bank accounts, the money is on the card.

Anyone who has the card number has instant access to your cash and can siphon the card dry.

Authorities are reminding residents that no reputable agency or business will ever instruct or demand payment in this manner.

If you get one of these phone calls, officers said to hang up and call the agency based on contact info you trust.

Federal law prohibits debt collectors from using intimidation, threats and harassment.

No one can be jailed over debt.