ROSELAND, NJ — The Borough of Roseland is warning residents about scammers who are out there “impersonating the authorities and conjuring up different schemes to fool people into giving them money,” according to a message sent to the public this week.
According to the borough, scammers might claim to be calling from the IRS because the resident owes taxes or claim to be from the FTC and offer to help the resident recover money lost to a scammer. Now, Roseland police have discovered that scammers have created a new ploy and are impersonating police officers.
Victims have reported that the person on the other end of the phone is calling to say that someone the victim cares about is in jail and that the victim needs to pay to bail him or her out.
“The scam-detecting radar in your head immediately goes off; you’re skeptical, but the caller ID says the call is from the ‘Roseland Police Department,’” the department’s message to the public said. “And, let’s be honest, you might believe your nephew is being arrested. So, you keep listening.”
The department noted that many victims detect a scam when the caller says to “put money on a prepaid card” and give him or her the card number; but others still wonder about the caller ID that read “Roseland Police Department.”
“Scammers can rig caller ID to look like they’re calling from the Roseland Police Department—or, really, anywhere—even your own number,” the department said. “Don’t rely on caller ID. It’s not foolproof. Scammers can easily spoof it to try to gain your trust.”
If it looks like the police are calling, residents are urged to look up the non-emergency phone number (973-226-8700) and call to find out if the story is legitimate.
“You’ll soon learn it’s a scam,” the department said. “Remember, the Roseland Police Department is always ready to answer any question you might have. Do not hesitate to call.”
Imposters should be reported to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. Select the category “Scams and Rip-offs” then “Impostor Scams.”