The Johnston Police Department is warning residents about a new imposter scam. The scammers are impersonating a member of the Johnston Police Department. While impersonating the officer, the scammers will attempt to solicit payment for not pressing charges or threaten violence if not paid. The scam may come in a series of calls.
"Calls threatening you or asking for money are flat-out scams – don't become a victim," said Johnston Police Chief, Dennis McDaniel. "These scammers steal the names of real agency personnel solely to scare you into paying them. While the scammers may change up the phone numbers they are calling from; they are calling for one mission, to get you to share your account information, or send money."
The Johnston Police Department offers these tips to avoid imposter scams:
- Don't trust caller ID readings – scammers often spoof names and numbers to make them appear like a local caller.
- Let numbers you do not recognize go directly to voicemail. And do not call unknown numbers back.
- Hang up on anyone who threatens you with arrest, legal action, or seizure of your accounts.
- Do not converse with anyone online that you do not know, and certainly do not share any personal photos of yourself.
- Hang up if anyone directs you to pay using store gift cards, money wires, or mailed cash. These are often used because they are difficult to trace.
If you do receive a scam call, please contact the Johnston Police Department at 515-278-2345.