FAIRFIELD, NJ — The Fairfield Police Department (FPD) is warning the community of a phone scam wherein the suspects are using the main public phone number for the Fairfield Police Department to help perpetrate their fraud.

The department was contacted on Monday by a resident who was defrauded out of $3,100.

According to the police department's description of the scam, the unknown suspects contacted the victim by phone claiming to be with the FBI and telling the victim that a car was recovered with blood and a large amount of money in it that they claimed was registered to the victim. The callers then told the victim that they were working with the FPD, and that they would have the FPD contact the victim to confirm this.

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The victim was then contacted by an unknown individual from a number that appeared on caller ID as the FPD's main number — (973) 227-1400 — but was actually a false internet phone number, according to police.

The caller, claiming to be a Fairfield police officer, told the victim to cooperate with the FBI when they called back. When the victim was contacted again by the suspects, the victim was instructed purchase gift cards from various locations, give them the card numbers and then shred the cards.

“We know that every day, there are confidence crimes being committed against an unsuspecting public, but it is that much worse when they use law enforcement agencies to gain the trust needed to facilitate their crimes,” said Chief Anthony G. Manna. “We are hoping that by alerting the public through the news and on social media that we will prevent someone else from becoming a victim.”

Anyone who receives a phone call like this or one that makes it appear that time is of the essence should not act on it. Instead, police ask that anyone who receives these calls to contact their local law enforcement agency, either by phone or in person to inquire about the legitimacy of the call.

The police department reminds residents to avoid ever sending anything of value or giving any personal information to any unknown callers.