Gainesville police are warning citizens of a scam involving police impersonators over the phone.
The city’s police department has received multiple calls from residents who were contacted by someone claiming to be representing the department.
“The caller stated that they had a warrant out for them, and they needed to take care of that warrant financially,” Gainesville police spokesman Cpl. Kevin Holbrook said. “Fortunately, the complainant was vigilant, and they did notify us.”
The scammers, Holbrook said, in other cases have been able to manipulate the caller ID system to make it seem like the police are calling. And Gainesville is not the only one.
“It’s widespread nationally, so it’s not necessarily centered specifically just to Gainesville or Georgia,” Holbrook said.
The scammers request credit card numbers or prepaid cards from stores. Holbrook and the Gainesville police recommend recipients of these calls say nothing.
“Hang up immediately. Do not ever give out any information over the phone,” Holbrook said.
If contacted in a similar situation, Holbrook said citizens are asked to call the police and inform them of their suspicions.
With the stress of the holidays distracting people, Holbrook expressed concern about scammers taking advantage of divided attentions.
“People have many things on their minds. Their minds are elsewhere,” Holbrook said. “They’re in a rush-and-go mentality, so again, it does not necessarily help the situation.”