Phone scammers are posing as local law enforcement agencies - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

Phone scammers are posing as local law enforcement agencies

Area law enforcement agencies are warning residents about a phone scam. Source: WLBT Area law enforcement agencies are warning residents about a phone scam. Source: WLBT
The criminals have a new twist to their racket - they're actually saying they're members of law enforcement and they're collecting money for kids. Source: WLBT The criminals have a new twist to their racket - they're actually saying they're members of law enforcement and they're collecting money for kids. Source: WLBT
Police say the thieves are targeting phones in the metro area. Source: WLBT Police say the thieves are targeting phones in the metro area. Source: WLBT
If you receive a call of this type, you're asked to notify local law enforcement and not give them any money. Source: WLBT If you receive a call of this type, you're asked to notify local law enforcement and not give them any money. Source: WLBT
RANKIN COUNTY, MS (WLBT) -

Area law enforcement agencies are warning residents about a phone scam.

The criminals have a new twist to their racket - they're actually saying they're members of law enforcement and they're collecting money for kids.

Police say the thieves are targeting phones in the metro area.

"Sheriff Randy Tucker called me and said 'Sheriff, I want you to know someone is using your name trying to get money for kids'," explained Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey. "I said, 'What'?"

Bailey says his office has received several complaints of people using his name, cold calling people and asking for donations.

"My biggest advice to people is if the call comes to you, hang up on them because the Rankin County Sheriff's Office doesn't operate like that," said Bailey. "We're not going to call for a charity and collect money. We're not going to call for old fines. We may call because you missed jury duty, but were not going to be asking for money."

Richland police also say someone is impersonating them in the same type of scam.

"They're basically lying to someone saying they're a representative of the Richland Police Department," said Richland police PIO, Allison Clark.

In many cases, the criminals are doing what's called "spoofing" -- trying to trick callers and disguise where the real call is coming from.

"It looks like a local number," said Hayden Livingston, investigator with the Rankin County Sheriff's Office. "They can download an application, pick the area code and prefix and make it look like it came from down the road."

If you receive a call of this type, you're asked to notify local law enforcement and not give them any money.

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