Newport Beach Police Department sent out an alert Wednesday about reports from community members who received calls from an individual claiming to work for NBPD.
“After calling the police department directly, the community members discover that the individual does not in fact work for us,” the NBPD message reads. “At this point, it is unclear exactly what this impersonator is intending to get from these calls.”
Police urged residents to carefully consider who a caller from an unknown number actually is, whether the person is claiming to be from a local law enforcement agency or somewhere else.
“Scammers are good at pretending to be someone they’re not,” the alert explains. “They can be convincing: Sometimes using information from social networking sites, or hacking into email accounts, to make it seem more real. They’ll pressure you by playing on your emotions to get personal information or money from you.”
Police recommended anyone who gets a call like this to “stop” and “check it out.”
“For calls from alleged government agencies or utility companies: Do not give out any personal information until you have verified the identity of the caller,” the NBPD message warns.
Authorities suggest asking the caller for their name, department, and business phone number. If the caller refuses to provide this information, terminate the call immediately.
If they do give a number, don’t call them back. Instead, search for contact information about the organization online or through official correspondence.
Police also advised to never give out personal identifying information, such as social security number, bank account or credit card account numbers, to anyone unknown person.