CRANFORD - The Cranford Police Department is warning residents of potential phone scams that can scare you into paying scammers. 

According to the release, The Cranford Police Department has seen an increase in reported phone scams over the last few weeks. The scammers are out there, impersonating law enforcement authorities and conjuring up different schemes to fool people into giving them money.

The department warns that they might say you have an active arrest warrant or even advise they’re calling from the IRS because you owe taxes. But now the department is hearing about a new ploy - impersonating the police. You’re skeptical when you take the call, but the caller ID can now even be “spoofed” to say the call is from the police department.

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In many cases, the caller tells you to put money on a prepaid card and give them the card number. Please take note, the Police will never ask people to pay with prepaid cards. The scammer asks for payment through a prepaid card because it is like paying cash — once the money is gone, you can’t get it back.

So, here’s Cranford Polcie Department's advice: Don’t rely on caller ID. It’s not foolproof. If it looks like the police are calling, look up the non-emergency phone number (Cranford Police Department’s is (908) 272-2222) and call to find out if the story is legit.